Truckee golf | First-year coach encouraged by young team
Much has changed with the Truckee High golf team in the past year.
In fact, nothing remains the same at all.
Gone is longtime head coach Jeff Froelich, who, after 30-plus years at the helm, was the face of the Wolverines’ golf program until retiring after the 2010 season. Along with Froelich’s departure, not a single player returned from last year’s senior-heavy team, including 3A state champion Allan Nousiainen.
That left first-year head coach Kevin Waters scrapping for available golfers to form a team, and during a spring that began with more blizzards than blue skies.
and#8220;With all of the crazy weather during the month of February and March when it was time to get the season started, it was difficult to get players even thinking about golf when there was 10 feet of snow on the ground,and#8221; said Waters, explaining how he had to reach out at the high school to notify students of the golf season.
and#8220;The weather made our practice schedule almost impossible to follow,and#8221; Waters continued. and#8220;The earlier part of the season we were forced to cancel more practices than we actually had.and#8221;
Eleven players came out for the team and#8212; seven freshman, three sophomores and one senior and#8212; none of whom had previous tournament experience, Waters said. But the coach was not concerned; rather, he was encouraged by the potential of his young squad.
and#8220;The good thing about having a very young team is the ability to improve and build a really strong program over the next couple years,and#8221; said Waters, a 2004 Truckee grad who played under Froelich as a Wolverine. and#8220;Many of my freshmen and sophomores have unbelievable potential. Everyone on the team has improved tremendously over the past two months. All of them are improving ball striking, short game and have more confidence overall while on the golf course.
and#8220;It is my goal to help motivate my players to enjoy the game more by playing better golf.and#8221;
The team is made up of lone senior Conrad Kraass, sophomores Jared Huey, Paul Buschmann and Sam Mohun, and freshmen Nathan Keese, Louden Smith, Mason Kimmel, Colin Gerrard, Max Barta, Holden Reed, and Kyle Mello.
Waters, a Class A PGA Professional, has worked the past four years as a golf pro at Old Greenwood, and is in his first year as an assistant pro at Gray’s Crossing. He said he’s excited to lead the Truckee program and give back to the local junior community.
and#8220;It is my hopes that next year the players are itching to find me before the season starts rather than me having to track them down,and#8221; he said. and#8220;I plan on giving them the opportunity to practice and play regularly this summer at two of the best courses California has to offer in both Old Greenwood and Gray’s Crossing.and#8221;
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