North Tahoe golf preview: Young Laker team loaded with talent
Coach Dick Tomlinson expects great things from his youthful Lakers squad ” both in the immediate future and down the road.
And why not with a talented group of mostly sophomores that finished third best in the state a year ago?
“We have kids who grew 3 inches over the summer. They were already an athletic group, but the difference in maturity is amazing,” said Tomlinson, whose roster includes nine sophomores and three juniors.
“They’re very coachable,” the coach continued. “The kids listen this year and they want to learn and improve, so they set goals. They want to finish no worse than second (at state) this year and win next year.”
While the coach sees Travis Boerner and Alec Griffith battling to post the Lakers’ top scores ” “Both are capable of shooting in the 70s,” he said ” Tomlinson expects solid results from all six of his golfers in any given tournament.
“We have six kids who can shoot in the 80s, and that’s what it takes. Other teams might have a good golfer or two, but we have numbers,” he said.
Each team brings six golfers to compete and records the top five scores. Tomlinson brings his top three golfers from the previous week’s tournament, and has their teammates compete against each other in a qualifier for the final three spots.
Unlike the 3A, which uses regular-season results to determine who advances to the postseason, the 2A teams face off in a regional tournament in May to decide who will represent Northern Nevada. The top three teams from the North and top two teams from the South compete at state.
So for the Lakers, the regular season serves as a two-month tune-up for regionals.
The Lakers also benefit from playing in 3A tournaments throughout the season, along with Whittell and sometimes Hawthorne, Tomlinson said. The one exception is the Lowry Tournament on April 24. Tomlinson said North Tahoe will host a 2A tournament that week.
Last year the young North Tahoe squad typically finished around fifth or sixth in the 3A mix. This year Tomlinson would like to see consistent third- and fourth-place finishes competing against the larger schools.
As far as the Lakers’ Northern 2A competition, Tomlinson expects Whittell to be the team to beat, even though the Warriors lost their top golfer from last year.
Until the time comes to go head-to-head with the Warriors, Tomlinson’s enjoying watching his work in progress.
“They’re getting better,” he said, “and that’s infectious.”