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Golf team looks to gain experience

Junior Riley Johnson is one of three varsity golfers returning for the 2013 season. File photo

Spring is finally here, and teams are finally taking the field after being kept indoors for weeks by the extended winter. Perhaps no team was more affected than the boys golf team, who has only been able to manage limited indoor practice and cannot practice at Village Green Golf Course until next week.

"We have been going (the Sports Bubble) about twice a week, but that costs money," head coach Chuck Gad said. Hopefully, we can get out to the driving range this week."

Gad, a now retired business education teacher in his 17th year as head coach, will rely heavily on three returning players from last year's state championship team: eighth-grader Cole Johnson, senior Chase Pulczinski and junior and individual state champion Riley Johnson.

"Riley is an outstanding player and kid," Gad said. "He is very goal-oriented, and I know he'll work harder now than ever."

Past those three, Gad expects a steady rotation in the varsity lineup.

"If our schedule stays as it is, we will probably have two practices a week and we'll be gone all the time," Gad said. "It will really be an experience year for half of the kids, but we'll be alright. Our goal for the past five years or so was to win the state championship, and we've done that. We lost three really, really good kids, and this year our goal is to get back to state tournament. We want to be competitive and get experience. It's going to be very different this year."

While the lack of experienced varsity golfers is typically viewed as a shortcoming, Gad sees a positive attitude and desire to improve as highlights that outweigh this problem.

"They're pretty well committed," Gad said. "They come to practice and want to be good, and that is what it takes. I have seen their attitudes, and I have seen them work hard at the bubble.They really want to get outside. It's a good bunch of kids."

The team's first meet is scheduled for Monday at King's Walk Golf Course in Grand Forks.