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MCHS golf team is a young group this season

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By Gerard Flanagan

Joey Reed acknowledged this season — and likely the next three or four seasons — will be a time of rebuilding for the Marion County golf program.

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This season, he’s got a young team, and that presents a host of challenges, challenges he says he is excited to take on.

“I’m really excited to see all the youth out on the team and wanting to play and wanting to compete just because our numbers have been the same for the three years I’ve been here,” the Knights’ head coach said. “This is the largest group I’ve had, and I’m starting to see my junior golf kids roll into my high school program. It shows that the future is bright. The game is growing, and hopefully we can continue to get young players in here and keep building for the future.”

Reed enters his fourth season leading the Knights golf program, and the team he inherits this season is far different than his teams in the first three seasons. Out of 17 players on this year’s team, only five are in high school.

As well, Reed returns only three players who saw action last season — Lucas Ross, Ava Spalding and Spencer Riggs. Ross, Riggs and Eli Nelson are the three seniors on this year’s team. Nelson returns to the team after not playing last season.

The Knights will begin their season on Aug. 6 with a boys-only match against Green County. The girls’ will compete as a team in the Lady Bulldog Invitational at Kearny Hills in Lexington on Aug. 10. Also on Aug. 10, the boys will travel to My Old Kentucky Home Golf Course in Bardstown for the Hawk Classic. The boys and girls will also face LaRue County on Aug. 13 at the LaRue County Country Club.

Reed’s focus early in the season is to build the confidence of his young players.

“Golf is a game where it’s very, very easy to lose your motivation,” Reed said. “You could have a couple bad days in a row, and if you haven’t been playing golf that long, you might make up your mind that this isn’t for you. Golf does take a lot of practice, a lot of time and a lot of commitment.”

Conditioning will also be a point of emphasis with a young team, according to Reed. He also said conditioning will determine whether any younger players will see varsity action.

“They could play varsity, but I told them from day one, if you can’t walk 18 holes, then you won’t have a chance to play any tournaments,” Reed said. “Some of these courses are really long, and it’s hard for them to get off the tee and get to the hole in the least amount of strokes possible. It’s hard with the wear and tear of the heat, swinging that many times. A lot of it is really going to depend on our conditioning these first few weeks before the season starts.”