SPRING PREVIEW: Golf team growing in stature
Thanks to the superstar hype that Tiger Woods has brought to the sport of golf, young boys are no longer overlooking a sleek new driver in favor of a pigskin or a pair of Rossignols.
Wolverine golf coach Jeff Froelich can certainly attest to the newfound interest in the links among local youth, after 36 players turned out to fill six available spots on the 2001 Truckee varsity golf team.
The Wolverines took home second place in last year’s State Championships, as Jason Waters landed in second place individually with impressive scores of 77/78. This year, Waters is back in his last year with the team, along with four other veterans who hope to lead the team back to post-season glory.
Losing only two starters from last year, Coach Froelich is in good position heading into the spring season with Waters, David Brooks, Mark Lundbeck, Ryan Stock and Jarred Bower at the helm. Lundbeck finished fifth last year at the State Championships and promises to be a key player for the TNT team.
“The older guys will pick up where we left off last year, and we will replace the kids that we lost with players who are just as good if not better,” Froelich reported.
Practice time has been limited for the team thus far this season, as snow continues to cover the courses in the Truckee/Tahoe area. Froelich and assistant coaches Carl deRyk and Eric Sutton have been taking the team down to Reno in smaller groups to get some playing time on the grass.
Although they have only been practicing since Feb. 27, the team came out strong in the first tournament of the preseason last weekend at Hawthorne, taking home first place out of nine teams.
“It is great to open the preseason with a win. This gives us some confidence heading into the regular season,” Froelich remarked. The tournament was limited to nine holes due a weather delay, which made play difficult for all of the teams after an hour hold on play.
“We were still half frozen – the scores reflected that,” noted Froelich on Monday.
Despite the cold start, the Wolverines were on fire with a fourth place finish by Dave Brooks, a sixth place standing for Mark Lundbeck and ninth and tenth honors for Ryan Stock and Jarrett Bower respectively.
Moving down from 4A to 3A, Lowry will be a force to be reckoned with on the course this season as well as last year’s State Champs Manogue. Coach Froelich is optimistic about his team’s chances against traditionally strong opponents like the Lakers and Yerington.
“Good competition fosters the opportunity to play your best and excel at a higher level,” he added.
The team’s next invitational is today at Dayton at 10 a.m.
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As seniors from North Tahoe collected diplomas this week, a group of Lakers continued another local tradition — capturing first place at the boys’ regional golf championship.