Bobcats return full squad
The Basehor-Linwood golf team is about to reap the only reward of having a team with no seniors: this year's squad returns everyone.
"Right now, because we were so young last year, we have a veteran squad with big time varsity experience," Basehor-Linwood coach Chad Harvey said. "They have all gotten better. They all work real hard and they all love the game. They are all pulling for each other."
This year's squad also will feature two seniors, a luxury for this team. BLHS hasn't had multiple seniors on the squad for the last couple of seasons.
"The two seniors will have a huge role," Harvey said. "Brett Johnson is just now starting to find his game. Toby Moody is right in the mix as a leader. They will play a big role on this team. (Success) will mean more for them."
Sam Mustain is the top returner. Mustain was the only member of the team that made the State-competition last year.
Mustain shot an 82 at regionals and an 86 at State. The junior missed placing at State by two strokes.
"Mustain has a great chance at returning (to State)," Harvey said. "He will be looked at as a leader, even though he isn't a senior. He has the most consistent game."
Tanner Swafford joined the team last year. He missed going to State by two strokes.
"He is such a natural athlete, he is going to keep getting better no matter what he does," Swafford said. "His hand eye coordination is on a different level than everyone else. He is a very strong kid; he hits the ball hard and far. We will work on his touch to see if he can get better around green."
Chris Douglas was also close to reaching State. He was four shots off the pace.
"Chris Douglas is the most improved (from last season)," Harvey said. "Last year his tournament average was 91. He cut off 8 or 9 strokes over the summer
"His average is between 83-85, now. I look for him to have a breakout year. His chipping and putting is right on. A lot of kids say he is lucky but I would rather be lucky than good."
Douglas has also worked hard away from the golf course.
"He has hit the weight room," Harvey said.
The team's practices began in late February where they began focusing on putting and chipping.
"The hardest thing about golf is, the kids want to pick up the driver and start hitting," Harvey said. "Touch is the hardest thing to get back over the winter."
Harvey said that the varsity roster was not currently set. The bevy of returning golfers will provide good competition and a fluid roster.
For now, the team that returns everyone has an eye on more visitors to State.
"The kids want to go to state as a team," Harvey said. "We will work towards that. Realistically, I think we have three kids that have a great chance to go to state individually. If they get in it will help us get the team in.
"We also want to win the league."