GARDINER-- The Gardiner Tigers golf team finished sixth at the KVAC qualifier, missing making the states by one spot.
The Tigers will have a mix of returning players and newcomers that could make them a threat in the KVAC class B south division.
"We are bringing back five of our six scoring golfers from last year. A talented trio of juniors all played a lot over the summer and seem poised for a breakout season,"Gardiner coach Patrick Quinn said. "Brian Dunn, Logan Peacock, and Chad Prince all have two years of varsity experience. They should lead the way on a team that is on the rise."
:Lincoln Academy and Erskine Academy are the favorites going into the season, but Gardiner expects to contend with those tough teams in the KVAC class B south division and contend for a spot in the state competition at Natanis in October.
"We are bringing back five of our six scoring golfers from last year. A talented trio of juniors (Dunn, Peacock, Prince) all played a lot over the summer and seem poised for a breakout season."
The Tigers have a large number of golfers compared to other schools in the area. That will give them much needed depth heading into the season.
"We have excellent team depth, 17 boys came out for golf this season, a very large number compared to local teams,"Quinn said. "The MEADOWS Golf Club has shown remarkable accommodation to our large numbers and really encourages these boys to pursue the sport. Six of our players were varsity contributors last year and some of last years JV players are ready to take on a bigger role."
The toughest part of the season for the Tigers, could be getting accustomed to golf courses that they have never seen.
"Conference realignment to a split class A/B schedule will have us playing on almost entirely new golf courses,"Quinn said. "Most of our boys have never played at Bath CC (Morse, Maple Lane (Spruce Mountain), Natanis Tomahawk (Erskine Academy), or Wawenock Golf Club (Lincoln Academy. Playing new courses may prove difficult in the regular season."
Dunn, Peacock, Prince, Andy Somes, Seth McFarland, and Michael Glazier are all returning golfers for Quinn and the Tigers. Brady Smith and Sam Jermyn will be key newcomers on the roster. Freshman Charles Stevens recorded a hole in one on his first day of varsity practice.
Check emsportsblog.com for updates throughout the season.