The rough road ahead


Melissa Bushong

Senior Zach Bozarth sets up to hit the ball at a practice on April 15.

Through last year’s spring sports season, the SHS boys golf team finished with a solid winning record of 7-3 in dual and three-way meets. However, this team was led by four seniors, who are now graduated. With them being gone, the team is put in a position this season where they are lacking in experience, making it difficult to maintain past success.

In 2019, the SHS boys golf team is composed of a mostly new starting lineup.

“(The team) doesn’t have the golf experience, and they don’t have the experience from the offseason tournaments,” head golf coach Don Manning said. “It’s gonna be an all new territory for the team.”

According to Manning, the roster is made of seven total players.The team has little experience with junior Matthew Muñoz, the only one with varsity experience, and senior Zach Bozarth being the only returners from last year. Muñoz is primarily being used this year as a tournament golfer while this is Bozarth’s first year on varsity.

A lot of the weight will be on Bozarth’s shoulders as a returning four-year player.

“It’s definitely a new experience (and) a big jump forward,” Bozarth said.

Even though being in this position is new for Bozarth, he says being on junior varsity and watching past varsity players has helped him identify his weaknesses.

The remaining five players have never played a year of high school golf before. Freshman Gavin Tidd has been playing golf all his life, but not in high school. Unlike Tidd, this is junior Tre Morris’s first year golfing and decided to join as it is a lifetime sport. All he says he has to do is learn how to swing properly, which is included in their practices.

With the level of this team’s experience, Manning chooses to focus on “the basics,” as he puts it.

He is working with each golfer in finding their strong point and trying to excel in that. Along with this, Manning is having the team work a lot on the short game, 75 yards or closer because that is where they “get the biggest bang for the buck.”

Through their first two competitions, the team has struggled as Manning predicted. Their first match against Beech Grove on April 11 resulted in a 211-162 loss. On April 13, the day of the Cardinal Ritter Invitation, the team combined for a score of 436 through 18 holes, placing 11th out of 12.

“My goal towards the end of the season is that (the golfers) get the hang of how it feels in a tournament and start to be a little more competitive with the other teams,” head coach Don Manning said.