It seems that the sky's the limit for the South Putnam Eagles boys golf team, according to first year coach Scott Ricke.
"They are striking the ball really well and I think there's a lot to work with," Ricke said. "There's great potential this year.
"I'm very optimistic. We have a great bunch of kids. They are very coachable and follow instructions very well."
The Eagles have three seniors on the very balanced squad. Returning for South is Ben Anderson, Cory Welty and Trea Boyce. Ricke will look to Anderson to assume the leadership role.
"Ben Anderson has the respect of the players and my respect," Ricke replied.
Experience will definitely be a factor for the Eagles, as they have multiple players returning from last year.
"Anderson will be our No. 2 guy. He's striking it very right now," Ricke said. "Our standout is Tyler Newby. He's a really good player, capable of putting up under par numbers."
When looking at his team, Ricke believes his team's strength is one of most golfers' weaknesses.
"So far what I've seen, we have strong mental focus," Ricke commented. "These guys are nothing but potential.
"Coach Carter didn't leave the cupboard bare. We've got some good talent out there."
The one aspect Ricke thinks the team needs to work on is dedication to the small things.
"I just don't think some of these guys just come out here and work on just isolating certain parts of their game as much as they could," Ricke pointed out.
"Just coming out here and working on their short games like putting and chipping, I think we'll get a lot better-- maybe shave three or four strokes."
And concerning team goals for the season, Ricke responded with a coy smile, "Yes we do, but we keep those to ourselves."
It wasn't hard to recognize the excitement and enthusiasm Ricke had as he talked about his team. A lot of coaches face doubts and second guesses but Ricke seems confident that he's only seeing the tip of the iceberg concerning the Eagles talent.
"I'm really excited for a first year coach, plus they're great kids," Ricke said.
"They can do whatever they want and they are willing to put in the time."
South will face Owen Valley and Dugger in a three-way match at Rolling Meadows April 5 at 4:30 p.m.