(Editor’s Note: With the Spring Sports season being wiped out due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bulletin asked spring sports coaches to write up a preview on what their season could’ve been. This week is boys golf and the following story was written by coach Eric Holen)
We were really excited about this upcoming season. We came off one of our most successful seasons in 2019 with a trip to sectionals and were excited to see how far the 2020 team would be able to take us. The brightest spot on the 2020 team was having five seniors ready to lead our squad. This would have been our most experienced team in my time coaching at B-W in 15 years and would have been the first time having so many seniors contributing on Varsity. Our captains Tyler Rudd and Thomas Albrightson had been helping fire up the team with big goals and high expectations for their teammates. It was really fun hearing all the seniors talking about what they would like to accomplish and building on the great season many of them had on the football field in the fall. They wanted to bring that fire and competitive edge to our golf team. Their enthusiasm was contagious, and I was as really getting fired up for the season. In addition to Rudd and Albrightson we had seniors Mason Hanson, Austin Hanson and Michael Shilts already to contribute to the team. Tyler Rudd was an All-Conference golfer and is a four-year letter winner. Thomas Albrightson came out last year and made an immediate impact and just keeps improving. Mason Hanson was back for his senior year and is a very solid golfer and great kid. Austin Hanson was back out for his senior year and would have been solid as well and given great leadership. Michael Shilts came out last year as well and made an immediate impact with solid ball striking and scoring, Shiltsy also kept things light with a great sense of humor in the golf van. So, as you can see it would have been a very fun year with five seniors leading our squad!
We also had some really strong juniors to keep the seniors on their toes. Isaac Welle is a returning two-year letter winner and all conference golfer. Isaac worked really hard on his game in the offseason and would have been likely the best scores on the squad along with Tyler. Junior Zach Stevens has had a very solid JV career and was ready to make the jump to varsity golf this year. These two juniors will be looking to take over as leaders next year.
In summary we missed out on an amazing season. We will never know how far this senior dominated team would have taken us, but I do know it would have been a blast spending time with these fine young men and that is what I missed the most as their coach.
Thank you to our home courses that were prepared to host our high school team this year. Our home course is Hammond Golf Club and our secondary courses are Glen Hills and Spring Valley GC. These courses also help host our junior golf programs and build the future generation. Our players are lucky that they can still get out and play golf during this time on their own and many of them have. Thanks again to Hammond Golf Club for being our home golf course and growing youth golf.
The biggest thank you though is to our 5 seniors! Thank you Tyler, Thomas, Mason, Austin and Michael! Your legacy and leadership will live on here at B-W!! We plan to celebrate the five seniors with a two-day golf trip to Hayward at some point this summer when the restrictions begin to be lifted. The two-day Hayward trip is one of the biggest highlights of the spring high school golf season, so we hope to re-create that for them as a nice send off.