Before you know it the smell of freshly cut grass, the picturesque view of hundreds of yards of open fairways and the recently aerated greens will be lined with a plethora of golfers all vying for a shot at state.
For many coaches the ultimate goal for their athlete is to reach that championship plateau. For the Perry Bluejay’s golf head coach Nick Field, it’s about a lot more than that.
“My message is the same as every year, you have to have fun and enjoy yourself while you are playing,” he said. “If you don’t enjoy what you are doing then you’re not going to get very good results.”
That is a message that Field consistently preaches to all his golfers - from his returning veterans to his novice players.
Of course, he doesn’t discourage his players and wants all of them to swing for the green, but golf takes tons of practice, which is why the veteran coach views success in a logical way.
“We have a lot of beginners on the team this year so for those guys if they can drop ten strokes off their score from the start of the season to the end, that would be great,” Field said. “For the guys that have been around for a while if they could find a way to qualify for districts, that would be great.”
One of those seasoned players is senior Noah Wilkening. Wilkening led last season’s squad with a 9-hole average of 40.33 with a low score of 35. His 78.25 per 18-hole average also led the team.
“This year I think will be Noah Wilkening’s year, he’s a senior so it’s his last year,” Field said. “The past two years he’s played great but at the end of the season he stumbles a little. This year I think he can put a whole season together.”
Joining Wilkening will be junior Connor Nielson, who will be be returning and bringing with him his 45.17 per 9-hole average. Also in the mix are senior Dane McCarty’s 47 - average, and junior Tanner Duffy’s 50.43 -average.
Rounding out the rest of the squad, who averaged a combined 64.15 per 9-holes, are sophomore Justin Stammer, juniors Izac Kinkennon, Jacob Murillo, Luke Rathje, Gabe Ridnour, and seniors Devin Patrick and Tyler Soll.