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Warriors catch golf fever

Steve Yingling

You’d never know that Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course is still covered by snow. The sport of choice this spring at Whittell High School is golf.

A record 26 prospective players are trying out for the team, which will be trimmed to 12 today.

Richard Brandt, a 13-year coach, wishes he could keep all of the players.

“There’s just no room for a JV team. If we could manage big numbers we wouldn’t to cut anybody at all,” said Brandt, who has been shuttling his players to the Golf Club at Genoa Lakes for practice. “The problem is carrying so many people with one coach isn’t manageable. I’ll have kids spread over the whole course and along with the head pro we can’t keep our eyes on all of them.

“We had quite a few that came out that have never golfed before and that makes it very difficult because we don’t have the help (to teach them all).”

The 14-player cut will be based on practice round scores at Genoa Lakes.

“They have it all in their hands. Pressure is a very important part of golf and they need to be able to play under it,” Brandt said.

But Brandt and Randy Fox, the head pro at Genoa Lakes, won’t forget those who are cut. They can take free lessons on Saturdays at Genoa Lakes.

The defending Nevada 3A Division II champions lost top player Chris Casteleyn to graduation and are reloading without a senior among them.

“These young golfers are doing very well and their attitudes are great,” Brandt said. “If we are able to practice and the kids are able to improve their games, there is the potential for us to (shoot) for the No. 1 and No. 2 positions. Only two teams go to state, so it’s a very difficult road for us, but why not try.”

The early results have been promising. Whittell finished third out of six teams at an 18-hole event last Friday at Walker Lake County Club in Hawthorne. Team scores were Manogue 421, Hawthorne 441, Whittell 464, Yerington 485, Dayton 515 and Incline (no score).

Sophomore Dustin Fox led the Warriors with an 11-over-par 79. Other Whittell scores were: freshman Keith Truswell, 88; sophomore Todd Echan, 94; junior Brian Price, 99; sophomore Trevor Bartholomew, 104; and sophomore Kevin Pruitt, 109.

Manogue’s John Hicks topped the leader board with a 6-over-par 74.

The Warriors usually practice at Edgewood Tahoe, but may not get on the course this season because an above average snowpack.

“The sun is gone by 6:30 and we travel 45 minutes each way, so that limits the amount of playing time we have,” Brandt said. “We just need to keep our chins up and hope the kids improve as fast as we can.”

The Warriors are scheduled to compete in an 18-hole event Thursday at 11 a.m. in Dayton. Whittell are scheduled to serve as division host April 21 at Genoa Lakes and May 15 at Edgewood.

Tahoe Daily Tribune E-mail: tribune@tahoe.com

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