When the Manhattan High boys’ golf team takes to the course today to start its season, it will have what many teams envy — young talent.
In addition to one senior, last year’s Manhattan High boys’ golf team featured three freshmen and two sophomores. What those young players lacked in varsity experience, they made up for with raw talent, culminating in a seventh-place finish at state after a regional victory that saw four scores in the mid-70s and all six golfers carding less than 80.
A year later, those young golfers are primed for more success.
“All five (returning) lettermen have seen all or the majority of the courses we’ll play this year, which is a huge plus,” Ficke said. “Moreover, they’ve all experienced regional and state competition — they know what it takes to win.”
Juniors David and Scott Woods are joined by Cole Dillon, Drew Casper and Pierson McAtee. Senior Drew Kohlmeier, the lone senior on the roster, rounds out the varsity team.
“(Drew) has persevered for three years and can now help the team in the vital and necessary sixth spot,” Ficke said. “Drew is consistent and even-keeled.”
David Woods is the team’s captain and along with Scott Woods, should lead the team.
“They have both gained lots of experience of the last two years, have both medaled with impressive scores last year,” Ficke said. “David, our current captain, started the season with a 3-under 67 at Salina Municipal. Scott shot even par at Shawnee Golf Course. I anticipate that both boys will continue to improve and lead the team.”
Ficke said he is expecting big things from his sophomores, with Dillon leading the way.
“Cole was our most consistent freshman last year,” Ficke said. “Both Drew and Pierson showed marked improvement over the season, especially in their mental games.”
Ficke said sophomore Dylan Gros may play his way onto the varsity as well at some point in the season.
The Indians start their season today at Salina Municipal golf course at the Salina Central Invitational. The team’s lone home meet of the year is Monday, April 8 at Manhattan Country Club.