Young Tiger Cub golfers will be tested

Monday, April 2, 2007
Members of the 2007 Greencastle boys' golf team include (front, from left) Coach Donavon Wheeler, Xander Hazel, Ryan Young, Kyle Harlan, Tyler Wade, Lossan Jones, Brandon Volland, (back) Cal Gard, Wade Huber, Nick Pritchard, David Lilly, Luke Crimmins, Dakota Miller and Jacob Collins.

A big question mark looms over a young and untested Greencastle golf team as it readies itself for the upcoming 2007 season.

When posed the question about his optimism of the upcoming season, Coach Donovan Wheeler voiced slight concern about the inexperience playing a factor.

"Relatively speaking, yes," he said. "We are young in key places and not as experienced as we should be in others.

"It's going to be evident, especially early in the season, but with time I think we can improve," he concluded.

GHS has one returning senior this season in David Lilly, and it seems that he might have some weight to bear as he possesses the No. 1 spot on the team. His leadership and experience is something Wheeler is hoping will guide and eventually rub off on the young team.

Having competed in summer tournaments to continue to improve his game, Lilly was described by Wheeler as being "battle-tested," and that is something he believes Greencastle needs.

"He has a strong, emotional head on his shoulders," Wheeler commented. "He's the focal point of the team and he's the man I think the other boys should model themselves after both in terms of attitude and work ethic."

Wheeler also thinks his team can get to the point where its talent could overcome its youth, but acknowledged that will take some time.

"We're not consistent off the tee and we have to scramble to get back in play," he responded. "We lose focus in short game because we're trying too hard to mark up for earlier mistakes.

"They're talented, but we are not confident and we get rattled too easily."

As the season approaches, Wheeler has made the goal for the Tiger Cubs clear -- improvement. He acknowledged that some of the golfers used the off season to tweak their games but others did not, and now it's time to get to work.

"We have to accept where we are, make the decision to get better and learn that we get out of the game what we invest into it," Wheeler mused. "We'll learn from the past but concentrate on the future."

Eyeing the road ahead, Wheeler is determined to aim his team in the direction that is needed.

"Since the team is young and raw, I'm not even thinking about events or competitions. I am totally channeling my focus on the team's improvement as the season progresses," he said.

Greencastle will open its season by competing in the Northview Tournament April 7 at 11 a.m.

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