Englewood, along with other high school golfers, began practice Aug. 5 a full week before other prep fall sports team can take to the field.
“We had a good first day,” Pirates coach Brian DeHerrera said. “We have six golfers out right now and senior Spencer Harmon said he’ll join us soon.”
The coach said the practices are important, as the Pirates will open competition by hosting a league tournament Aug. 19 at Broken Tee Golf Course at Englewood.
“That will be an early test for us,” the coach said. “We finished third in the four-team league last year. We have three returning players and, if they play well, will make us stronger this season. I expect the top two teams in the league will again be Fort Morgan and Elizabeth.”
This year, Englewood returning lettermen include senior Nate Medina, senior Austin Trail, senior Spencer Harmon and sophomore Mason Stepanich.
Medina has qualified for state two of the last three years. The coach said he is looking good and hitting the ball well.
“I didn’t play a lot of golf this summer but I think I am playing better now,” Medina said at the Aug. 8 practice. “I played 18 holes with golf professional Jim Hardy. He tweaked my swing. It is a change and I am getting used to it, and when I do, I think it will really help my game.”
He said he wants to improve because his goal is to again qualify for state and, this time, play well in the tournament
Trail has improved his score every year and the coach said he is working to continue that trend.
Harmon played with the team last year so he has some experience in league play and is working to improve his game.
Stepanich was a beginner last season but the coach said he worked to improve his game and earned the No. 4 spot on the roster by the end of the season.
The other three golfers new to the sport are senior Colin Owens and freshmen Jonathan Schroeder and Jerome Doherty. Both freshmen have played at least a little golf, the coach said.
No handicap system is used in high school golf. Each team can enter five golfers in a regular-season match with the scores of the top four finishers added together to determine the team score.
Again this year, the Englewood team plans a fundraising golf tournament to help pay expenses. This year, the tournament will be Sept. 14 at Broken Tee Golf Course at Englewood.