The Marion golf team, under the direction of second-year coach Thane Schwartz, will look to its returning letter-winners to guide a small and inexperienced squad this season.
Paving the way for the Warriors will be senior letter-winner Hogan Lovelady.
“Hogan hits the ball a long way,” Schwartz said. “He could go pro when he gets out of high school if he wanted to.”
Another letter-winner, junior Jared Hague, also will be key.
“(Jared) is working on his game,” Schwartz said. “Jared’s game is real good between 100 yards in; Hogan’s is real good off the tee to the green.”
Also expected to contribute are senior Aaron Molleker and junior Lauren McLinden, both letter-winners.
“(Aaron) would be another kid that is going to contribute to the team,” Schwartz said.
Of Lauren, Schwartz said: “Her short game is good. She’s a good putter.”
Marion returns two additional seniors: Brant Stephenson and Dylan Goebel.
Schwartz said the strength of his team lies in the long game. On the flip side, he said he expects the short game to be the weakness, an area in which the team will seek to improve.
“That’s what we’ll be working on—a lot of putting from like 150 yards to the green,” he said. “Kids at this age like to see how far they can hit the ball off the tee, and they don’t concentrate much on putting, so that’s kind of a problem.”
Looking ahead to league competition, Schwartz said he hopes his team finishes in the top five.
A key challenge Schwartz’s team will face this season will be the small roster and lack of experience.
“We have a lot of players who are inexperienced, so we’re going to have to preach fundamentals,” he said.
The Warriors are scheduled to begin play April 2 at Herington.