Moffat County boys golf aims for smart play
Coach: Small team has pros, cons in tournaments
Their numbers may be smaller this season, but according to their coach that’s no handicap.
Moffat County High SchoolMoffat County High School boys golf has already swung into the season, and after a week of transitioning back into regular play, Bulldog golfers are prepared to post some impressive scores. boys golf has already swung into the season, and after a week of transitioning back into regular play, Bulldog golfers are prepared to post some impressive scores.
Moffat County High School boys golf has already swung into the season, and after a week of transitioning back into regular play, Bulldog golfers are prepared to post some impressive scores.
The roster for the group is about half the size it was last year, owed mainly to multiple graduates in the Class of 2016. Of the four players returning, Mike Bingham is the lone senior, and juniors Kasen Brennise and Gage Rowley and sophomore Torin Reed are also getting back on the links.
New to the team but not to the sport is sophomore Connor Etzler, whose father, Brett, was previously the pro at Yampa Valley Golf CourseYampa Valley Golf Course, while freshman James DeWald rounds out the list of players., while freshman James DeWald rounds out the list of players.
Yampa Valley Golf Course, while freshman James DeWald rounds out the list of players.
The small count has both a downside and upside said coach Justin Folley. On one hand, he’ll be limited in options as far as who plays big tournaments, but conversely, greener golfers may get a chance to attend varsity events and form a JV group when that might not have been possible with a larger team traveling.
“It’s a lot easier to take six kids and have a couple JV players than it is to take 10 or 12 kids somewhere,” Folley said.
As the most experienced of the Dogs, Bingham looks to play at the 3A state tournament for the third consecutive year. Starting the season with an 85 in Cedaredge, his stroke count has steadily gone down in the last week, reaching 84 in Avon and 80 at Gypsum Creek.
“I’m a little further ahead than I was this time last year,” he said. “I’ve learned you don’t have to get to the green in one shot every time, just make smart shots, that’s all.”
Providing he keeps his eyes on the prize and his tally in the 70s, both Bingham and his coach foresee a potential trip to state, this year in Aurora.
“He’s going to click, he just needs to play smarter, more conservative,” Folley said.
Folley added that Reed has come out “on fire” to begin the season, his fourth man in the regional tournament last year shooting steadily in the mid- to high 80s so far after hovering in the 90s in 2015.
“He hits from the tee box about 200 or 250 (yards), and that’s the way to do it instead of always trying to hit it 300,” Folley said.
Reed owed his development to a lot of time spent at YVGC.
“I must have played here 30 or 40 times this summer,” he said. “The Par 3’s are a lot easier now, my driving is straighter, and my putting has improved.”
Rowley said he is hoping to improve his play after a rough round at Cedaredge, where he finished with a 140. The short game has been his weak point, despite some good driving.
“My problem is I make one mistake, I get angry and it builds and builds,” he said.
Monday morning sees MCHS host their home invitational with 14 teams along the Western Slope at YVGC, and Folley sees the home event taking place before school starts Aug. 29 a boon as Moffat County continues its season.
“We’ve just got to hit it forward, keep moving, and we’ll be alright,” he said.
Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or abockelman@CraigDailyPress.com or follow him on Twitter @CDP_Sports.Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or abockelman@CraigDailyPress.com or follow him on Twitter @CDP_Sports.
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As the conversation is brought to the fore in the district’s school board race, Moffat County School District is already in the midst of active discussion about the possibility for a four-day school week.