There was the usual trickle of golfers making their way to the tee boxes Monday morning at Yampa Valley Golf Course.
However, one group of golfers, who haven’t been assembled since a cold, blustery day in Steamboat Springs last year, made their way to the greens.
The Moffat County High School boys golf team opened practice Monday, which marked the unofficial start of the fall sports season.
And what a season the golf team could have, incoming senior Mark Dockstader said.
“This looks like a talented team,” he said. “I think we could win some tournaments this year.”
For Dockstader, along with fellow seniors Wes Whiffen and Eli Voyich, this is the last high school tryout week they will have to endure.
“It’s weird thinking that I’m a senior and this is my last year,” Dockstader said.
Dockstader, who narrowly missed the cut for state during last season’s regional tournament in Steamboat Springs, said he has put in extra work this summer to sharpen his game.
“The last few weeks, I’ve put in a lot of practice,” he said. “I’ve been getting ready, and putting things together.”
One of the more experienced golfers on the team, Dockstader said he wants his teammates to take this week seriously.
“I expect them to come here and get better,” he said. “Even the guys who are doing this just for fun.
“I’ve improved a lot over the years, and I know they can, too. I just need to set an example.”
Head coach Ken Harjes said a little Monday morning rain wasn’t going to dampen his hope for the upcoming season.
“When I look at this group, I see two things,” he said. “There’s a lot of ability, and this is a fun group to be with. This could be a fun bunch.”
The team will have qualifying rounds today and Wednesday, to see where each player fits onto the team, and who will make the varsity cut.
Harjes said he hopes some of the younger players will try to show they belong at the varsity level.
“I want to see them have good qualifying rounds,” he said. “I want them to carry that over into next week.”
The team won’t have long to practice — the first tournament of the season is scheduled for noon Monday at Bookcliff Golf Course in Grand Junction.
Incoming freshman Taft Cleverly said he is apprehensive heading into his first high school sports season.
“I was a little nervous,” he said. “I think because I wasn’t sure what it would be like.
“I’m definitely excited, too. I want to do well, and try to have fun.”
While he isn’t sure where he will fit into the team’s rotation, Cleverly said he wants to do what he can to help the team.
“I want to play well, and suit up for some (junior varsity) tournaments,” he said. “I just want to have fun.”