Tony Kluver addressed the ball, then calmly and rather smoothly drove it into a net set up at the High Plains Cultural Center.
By Bryan Gallegos
The senior from Killdeer School was not alone on this wet, overcast day. His teammates on the golf teams were there, and they, too, were working on techniques they hoped will lead them to a successful season.
Killdeer head coach Cindy Hansen watched, nodding her approval. She tried not to smile, but wasn’t doing a very good job at it. She liked what she was seeing in her young golf players.
The Cowboys will be green, almost as green as the courses they will play on this season. But that inexperience can be overcome by practice and a passion for the game.
“I think our greatest strength is the willingness of the athletes to do all they need to do to be competitive and improve their skills,” Hansen said.
There are a dozen players out of the golf teams, eight on the boys side and four on the girls. Everybody will see some varsity action this season, Hansen said, although some will play in the junior high and junior varsity levels as well.
The boys have five players with varsity experience, including junior Mike Hutchison, the most seasoned of the bunch. Hutchison is a junior but has played high school golf since he was in the seventh grade.
Freshman John Tomjack is entering his third year, while Kluver, the lonly senior, sophomore Ryan Zoustapil and eighth-grader Zack Andersen played last year.
“The fact that there is five back who played varsity will help. They’ve been there before so they know what it’s like,” Hansen said.
Meanwhile, freshmen Cale and Dayne Fredericks return from last year but did see varsity action. Freshman Gabe McGee rounds out the team for the Cowboys.
Hansen said the boys numbers will allow the Cowboys to field a six-member varsity squad for every tournament.
“The boys finished in the top half at nearly every meet and our team was young,” said Hansen.
On the girls side, the Cowboys will likely be playing for individual scores. Freshman Kaitlyn Warren and Maddison Wilhelm saw some varsity tournament last year, but played mostly junior high and junior varsity tournaments until late in the season.
Senior Kurtlyn Hall will be coming into her second season and freshman Brooke Bang is new to the game.
“There is a lot of potential,” Hansen said. “It’s exciting to see the improvement they are already making.”
She said the work ethic is strong and attitude is positive and it’s very evident that they are “enjoying the game.”
The first meet of the season will be April 18 in Hazen. The tournament is slated to start at 9 a.m.