Huskies and Devils golf refuels with youth |

Huskies and Devils golf refuels with youth

VAIL-After losing five of its top-six golfers from last year, Battle Mountain may be in a rebuilding year.”I have hopes of getting one or two players to the state tournament, but I don’t think we’re going to make it as a team,” said coach Cassie Desmone.With the loss of top scorers like Austin Chow, Clint Wilson, and Ben Dominico, the team is looking for younger players to shoot in the low 80s. Senior Derek Rush, who shot 80 in the first two tournaments of the year, will be one of the leaders. Clay Wilson, in his junior year, is on path to break into the 70s, after shooting 82 in each of the first two tournaments. Desmone thinks Zach Dominico, Clark Simmons, and Mason Cullen will continue to improve and lower their scores. Other golfers who will challenge for the top-six spots are Dustin Martin, Matt Berry, both of Vail Christian, Jason Funk, Diego Gaspar, Barrett Chow, Kyle Woods, and John Ryan Melzer.Battle Mountain golf already has three tournaments under its belt, and is now ready to hit the putting green.”We definitely need to work on our putting and chipping,” Desmone said. “We had a lot of chances for birdie, but we didn’t make too many.”At both the Bookcliff and Tiara Rado tournaments, the team finished 11th out of 17 and 18 teams, respectively. Coming into the season, Desmone wasn’t sure what to expect.”I didn’t think I’d have anyone playing well, but now I do have a few who are playing really well,” Desmone said.For the juniors and seniors, Desmone knows making putts will be key, whereas for the younger golfers, she hopes to tailor their style a bit more.”The older kids do have the skill, they just need to get those birdies,” Desmone said. “I can take some strokes off (the younger kids’) game around the green and teach them some course management.”At practice today, the team will choose captains and begin preparations for its next tournament at Glenwood Springs on Monday.Little lost, much potential gained Eagle Valley returns a strong contingent of golfers from last year, and brings in a swath of new freshmen. Coach Glen Ewing hopes his youthful team will improve as the season progresses.”We have been practicing and competing all summer and the all of the kids have gotten better,” Ewing said. “It will be a growth year with freshman and sophomores. By the end of the year, I expect good things.” At top of the depth chart is Ben Morris, who has consistently shot in the low 80s so far this year. Ewing believes Morris has the best chance out of all his players to make the state tournament. Freshman Jamison Bair and Bryan Brennan have impressed Ewing already, and will likely challenge for top spots on the team.Rounding out the top spots are Shelton Adams and Zach Coe, who returns to the team after he competed in a long-drive competition. Ewing sees great potential in younger players like Jake Lammert, Chris Brubeck and other freshman who have yet to play any tournaments.”I kept more freshman this year because of the talent,” Ewing said.On Wednesday, Eagle Valley competed in its fourth tournament of the year, finishing ninth in a field of 12 teams.”We shot a 259, but that was within six strokes of being third,” Ewing said.Ewing pointed out specific parts of his top players’ games that could help lower their scores. With the younger players, however, Ewing values the mental aspect as much as the physical aspect.”I think working with attitudes and coachability with the freshman and sophomores will be key,” Ewing said. “We’ve got a really strong group and in two to three years I think we’re going to be one of the teams to beat.” Vail, Colorado

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