Silver Knights golf team reports in
Despite it still being summer and a few weeks from the first day of school, the first of Tyler Consolidated High Schools fall sports has already started.
Regulars at Sistersville Country Club are now welcoming the Silver Knights golf team to the greens as they enter into the season.
“It looks like we will have nine players, with several of these being returning lettermen,” said veteran golf coach Joe Griffith.
“We lost two seniors from last year-Michael Cochran and Dane Gaiser. Cochran was a first year player who enjoyed learning the game, while Gaiser was a four-year player. We will certainly miss the solid scores that Gaiser was able to give us on a regular basis.”
Another thing that will hurts the Silver Knights is the move of last year’s only junior.
“We also will be without another strong player from last year’s team, as Tyler Brown has moved with his family to the Charleston area. Tyler would have been our senior captain, and we will definitely miss both his leadership and his good scores.”
The team will be left with one senior in David Chichick. This will be his first year on the team. He has played some golf on his own and it’s quite possible that he may shoot scores that can help the team.
The juniors make up the bulk of the team, with six in total. Most of them just started playing golf two years ago and have improved remarkably in that time. Ethan Garrison and Tyler Lemasters are two of last year’s returning lettermen.
“In our first week of practice, Garrison ran into some rough going, but his overall game is good enough that he will be back on track soon,” said Griffith. “Lemasters has worked a lot on his game over the summer, and in the LKC Scramble Tournament this past week, the team used many of his shots. These two will provide us with a lot of experience and leadership this season.”
The other juniors include Nathan Bolin, Brice Kehrer, Levi Kissner and Chelsa Thomas. Bolin qualified to be part of the LKC scramble team, so his game looks to be improved over last year. Kehrer was away on vacation during the first week, but he did quite well last year and is expected to pick up where he left off last fall. “For all of these players, getting to the course to play on their own when they are too young to drive has been a problem, but that will be less of a problem this year as they get their drivers licenses,” Griffith said.
“This will benefit in particular Levi Kissner, who lives more than 25 miles from our home course. In spite of his lack of playing time, he still shows some good promise for this season.”
The last junior, Chelsa Thomas, is our only girl on the team, and her drives and long shots have improved greatly already this year.
Rounding out the team will be two sophomores, both of whom look to be regular starters. Swayde Carpenter just started playing golf last year, but the amount of time that he has spent on the links during the off season looks to be paying off already with some quality golf on his part. Dalton Wells comes from a golfing family and has played the game for several years now. He is our longest driver on the team, and with consistency in his short game, he should be shooting some very nice scores this year.
Only one freshman signed up for the team, but lack of transportation to the course caused him to drop off the team until next year.
“Last season we finished at 30-57-1. We always set a goal of winning at least half of our matches, even against the bigger schools. That may be hard to achieve this year without Tyler Brown as part of the team, but I am anticipating that the juniors will step up to fill the void,” said Coach Griffith.
The season began on Thursday, Aug. 6 with the LKC Scramble.
“The scramble format is always fun for the team, and in the past we have participated in a scramble at the Riverside course near Sardis, Ohio, but that scramble was only tentatively scheduled for this season, so we opted to play in the LKC Scramble,” Griffith mentioned.
Woodridge Plantation Golf Course near Mineral Wells was the site of the LKC Scramble. Woodridge is a relatively new course, with sand traps, lakes and numerous hillocks and mounds lining each fairway. The team was composed of four players: Nathan Bolin, Tyler Lemasters, Swayde Carpenter and Dalton Wells.
“The team finished at one over par, not particularly good for a scramble,” added Griffith. “This placed the team eighth out of nine ‘A’ teams. Four ‘B’ teams also participated.”
Last year’s Class AA state champs, the Ritchie County Rebel golf team, picked up where they left off, as they carded a team score of 13 under par to win the event.
The Knights are in both the OVAC and LKC, and will be participating in tournaments for both conferences in September. These contests will be at Speidel and Woodridge Plantation, respectively. The team will have 18-hole matches scheduled at both of these courses, so the players will have the chance to see all of the holes. The regionals are at Parkersburg County Club, and we will be participating in an invitational tournament there Monday of this week, so that our players can see the whole course.
This coming Wednesday they will compete in the St. Marys Invitational, followed by two 18-hole matches early the next week at Speidel and North Bend. The first home match will be Wednesday, Aug. 19, beginning at 9 a.m.