The combined Marion/Peabody-Burns golf team will be young and inexperienced, as well as smaller in number, when taking to the course this season.
The Warriors lost six seniors to graduation, including two state qualifiers, from a year ago.
Ryan Cochran qualified for the Class 3A state meet last year by carding an 18-hole score of 98 at the regional tournament Marion hosted. But Cochran was unable to compete at state as the result of an injury.
Meanwhile, competing at the Class 1A regional in Hutchinson, Pablo Perez carded an 18-hole score of 108 to also qualify for state. A foreign-exchange student, Perez returned to Spain and was also unable to compete at state.
Also graduated from last year’s team are: Jayton Scott, Anna Lubbers, Mallory Harris and Jorge Sanchez.
Two letter-winners return to solidify the Warrior roster.
Junior Devin Soyez shot a 99 at the 3A regional tournament last year and missed qualifying for state by one stroke, while junior Max Caldwell shot a 127 at the 1A regional and placed 29th.
Newcomers to watch this year include freshmen Tabor Workman and Ben Schneider.
“This season already has an entirely differently feel from last season,” said second-year coach Scott Bauer. “We are about half the size as last year. It allows players to receive more one-on-one instruction, which is crucial to this sport.
“This season we will be very young and lack meet experience outside of our top few golfers. It will be exciting to see, out of the young golfers, who picks the game up the quickest. It is a game that takes a lot of time and patience.”
Bauer said he is still solidifying the Warriors’ six-person varsity roster.
“Our learning curve will have to be quick with our first meet coming up at the beginning of April,” he said. “It will be fun to see the growth of these golfers go from barely any golf exposure to competing in golf meets. I think in terms of team scores, we will struggle at the beginning of the season until we get some experience under our belts.”
The Warriors will open the season April 3 at Herington.