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Bobcats preparing to tee off

Bobcats preparing to tee off

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This year’s Bobcat golf team is made up of nine golfers with a wide array of differing experience. From no experience, to golfing for most of their lives this year’s team is ready to tee off for the new season.

Due to the weather, the team of two seniors, one junior, three sophomores and three freshmen has only held four or five practices. Instead of practicing on a regular golf course they have been putting out practice mats and turning their school’s hallways into a course.

“We are hoping to get to Alliance (golf course) to practice next week,” Bobcat golf coach Joe Collins said.

The team’s first tournament will be in Bridgeport on April 15. The Bobcats will take part in a triangular with Hay Springs and Crawford on April 9.

For junior Daren McConville, who has been golfing “basically my whole life,” it is a fun way to go out with others and meet new people.

“I hope to be in the 90s for sure,” junior golfer Daren McConville said of his goals this season. And “I’d like to see everyone (on the team) improve and compete.”

Last year, McConville and the rest of the Bobcat golf team had to set out the season because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Last year was different,” Collin said. “We just got started” and then it all came to a halt.

The team of 12 was unable to compete. Two of the team members, Alex Plog and Greg Randolph were seniors looking forward to their senior year of golf that never happened.

“It hurts our team (this year),” to set out a season, Collins said. Without a golf course in town the challenge of practice can be a challenge. “We drive to Alliance (golf course) as much as we can.”

Collin said he often has students come out for the team without any experience just to learn the sport.

“There are quite a few every year,” he said. “Which is good, golf is something you can do for the rest of your life.”

For Collin the passion for golf came when he played in high school. His folks started him golfing when he was just four-years-old, but they switched from golf to camping as a past time. Then in high school, he joined the golf team.

“The reason I got into teaching is to see that light bulb turn on,” he said of young golfers and students as they learn new things and have success. “It is exciting knowing I had a small part in their development.”

Over the last 11 years of coaching he had one team win Districts and the whole team went to state. However, winning titles isn’t how he judges success. Instead, his expectations are for his students to “get better every day and be more consistent.”

“District and state are destinations,” he said.

Districts will be held in Bridgeport on May 17 and state will be the following week.

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