The Loudon High School boys golf team is off to a 1-0 start after picking up a season opening 194-209 win against Copper Basin High School on July 30.
The team also picked up three “unofficial” wins against Harriman and Midway due to lack of depth.
“It went well, they shot well,” David Cherry, LHS head golf coach, said. “They went under 200 as a team. Last year, we didn’t go under 200 until halfway through the season. They’re doing well, they’re coming along. You can see in the scores, even in our non-matches, the teams did not have boys, but we went ahead and played and kept scores as if they were in a match. They played in match-like conditions. One time, we actually played with their girls.”
Despite not having much match experience, Cherry has been pleased with improvement in practices and non-matches.
“Again, they keep improving, they keep doing well,” he said. “They seem to do better at other places than at home, which I don’t understand. This is a hard course (Toqua Golf Course) compared to where we’ve been playing all summer, but they’ve all been working to get better each time. I think there was only one time where our match score dropped when we came home, but it was still under 200.”
The boys team is led by two sophomores in the one and two spots, Isaac Thompson and Logan Oody, respectively, followed by the junior-senior tandem of Cy Massey and Connor Mikolajewski.
Senior Delan Bradshaw and freshman James Ross are competing for the fifth spot.
“Isaac came in as a freshman last year, and you could tell he had skills and stuff, but he really worked between last year and this year,” Cherry said. “He came in playing really well and came in No. 1. He and Logan are kind of right there together. Logan, who’s also a sophomore, worked really hard and got his game going.
“Cy came in a little rusty and hadn’t played because he focused on baseball,” he added. “His last two matches, he shot right at 45 or near it. That’s where he needs to be, and he’s starting to get into his senior form. ... He’s going to work himself right back up again.”
Oody showed out in the first match against Copper Basin, shooting a team-low 43. He emphasized his driving Monday during a practice at Toqua Golf Course.
“My first match, I did really well,” Oody said. “I hit my drives well, I hit my irons good, putted good. These last few matches or games that we’ve had, I’ve not putted at well. My drive’s not been as good, but out here in practice, I’ve been driving it well. I try to work on what I’m struggling with. If I’ve been hitting my drives bad, I try to work on my drives.”
He has seen drastic improvements to his game since last season.
“Last year, I teed off with an iron and this year, I’ve bee teeing off with woods and here recently, I’ve been trying the driver,” he said. “I’ve been hitting well. My putting has gotten a lot better since last year.”
The Redskins will host district foe Polk County today, followed by a tri-match against Copper Basin and McMinn Central on Thursday.
Cherry believes his team will be ready to compete.
“Even in those non-matches, because we were somewhere else, because we had them keep score and had them exchange cards just like they were playing in a real match, they took it seriously,” he said. “They should be fine. They might be a little nervous like when we get McMinn Central here and Polk County comes on Wednesday. Those are both districts, so we should get a good sight on what we’re on.”