Truckee golf team entering season with clean slate
Part of high school sports is adapting to the loss of elder teammates dismissed to the real world through graduation ” but usually that doesn’t claim entire starting crews.
Not so with the Truckee High golf team, which lost its starting core made up of its top six golfers: Tommy Kokenge, Wes Hollabaugh, Kaya Lampe, Greg Shove, Nathan Wrenn and Ian Casey. Now, in a season that began play on March 16, the Wolverines are searching for the consistency that made them second best in the state a year ago.
“I don’t even know who my best six golfers are,” said Jeff Froelich, a Truckee High science teacher who has coached the golf team off and on since 1972.
He has a rough idea, though.
Last week Froelich brought senior Eddie Mathot, juniors Kevin Barchas, Richie Breuner and Danny Kruck, sophomore Patrick Galvin and freshman Bryce Poulin to compete in the Fernley Tournament. Truckee placed fifth out of nine teams, 21 points behind first-place Fernley.
“The big thing now is they’re inconsistent,” Froelich said of his golfers. “The talent we had last year was top of the league. This year we have golfers with really good swings; they are still in the development stage, but they have tools …
“I’d like to think we can qualify for state.”
Barchas, who shot a 76 for the team’s low score and third lowest of the tournament, also sees potential in this year’s less experienced group.
“(The team) is good,” Barchas said. “I think we can be first in league, but we have to play to our ability. We lost our whole varsity squad.”
While Barchas and company represented their school in the first tournament, the starting six is likely to fluctuate throughout the season. That’s because Froelich has a system in place in which his four lowest-scoring golfers in a tournament qualify to compete the following week, while the two highest scorers open the door to be challenged by teammates for the right to compete in the next tournament.
“I just like to enjoy the competition. It’s friendly competition, but it’s definitely competition,” Froelich said.
And with snow blanketing nearby practice facilities, forcing the Wolverines to drive to Reno or Auburn to get in some swings on grass, there’s plenty of inconsistency to warrant a little friendly competition.
“The season has been off and on. Right now everybody’s scores change every day,” said Kruck, who shot a 96 last week.
Froelich and team know that consistency is directly related to the ability ” or inability, in their case ” to play every day.
“It’s a big disadvantage for us,” Galvin said of dealing with the snow. “Other teams practice every day. We get in two days a week, if we’re lucky.”
Given time, though, the Wolverines are confident they’ll come around.
“I definitely think we can make state,” Barchas said.
Spring Creek 444
North Tahoe 453
Truckee individual scores
Kevin Barchas 76
Bryce Poulin 89
Patrick Galvin 90
Eddie Mathot 92
Richie Breuner 96
Danny Kruck 96
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The two-time defending state champion Truckee baseball team opened league play in style this weekend, taking a three-game sweep of Sparks.