Not all the league’s teams have reported their individual golfers’ averages but among those who have, the Braves have six golfers in the five through12 positions, led by their only returning starter from last year, Curran Persinger.
Coach Alan Sepsi has a largely inexperienced team this year, but expects good things from them as the season rolls on in September. The Braves lost five seniors from last year’s SWOC champions but Sepsi is confident they can round into championship form again.
Persinger, a junior, is the lone returning varsity golfer from a year ago but he was the team’s number 1 golfer which offers Sepsi something to build on as he fashions the 2013 team. In league statistics through Aug. 31, Persinger was averaging 41.11 strokes over 81 holes played and stood fifth in the league statistics.
The early statistics are solid for Talawanda as the inexperience of this year’s team has not a big factor in the early going.
Sepsi said early he expects them to round into form by the time the SWOC tournament rolls around and jokes some of his team members need only to learn to count, saying they have played only against their fathers and grandfathers.
“They are very young. For a couple people, it is their first time competing. They are getting their eyes opened,” he said. “It’s not that easy. (In the past), there have been a lot of gimmes.”
They have shown promise the early weeks of the season, mounting a 4-2 record and getting their individual averages high in the reported league standings.
The lone senior on this year’s Talawanda varsity golf team is Thomas Dyer, who lost last year to a dislocated knee when he would have probably been a varsity golfer, the coach said. As of Aug. 31, he stood tenth in the league standings with a 46.62 average after 81 holes.
The other varsity golfers this year are three sophomores and a freshman.
The freshman is Charlie Winkler, sixth in the SWOC standings with a 44.11 average after 81 holes. The sophomores are Kyle Tafelski (ninth, 45.11 average after 81 holes) Zac Brazen (11th, 47.33, 81 holes) and Zach Ramsey (12th, 48.11, 81 holes).
A more challenging home course is the main ingredient as a young, inexperienced Talawanda High School varsity golf team looks to get ready to defend a decade of league championships.
The league leader is Wilmington’s Spencer Meredith with a nine-hole average of 36.0 after 108 holes played.
The Braves’ season opener came against Princeton as the Vikings finished 11 strokes better, 160 to 171.
“We set a goal of 160 every match, 40 strokes for four golfers,” Sepsi said. “We played well, but we shot 171. I thought we would do better.”
Talawanda will be playing home matches at Hueston Woods Golf Course this year instead of Indian Ridge. Sepsi said the switch came for several reasons but his players will benefit, he said, and he looks forward to seeing how they will be improved playing the course.
“Hueston Woods is a much more difficult course,” the coach said. “We hope to eventually have a home-course advantage. Hueston Woods is tighter. It has a lot of trees. You need to play a different game and learn to escape a little from trouble.”
He said the players will have greater access to the course as part of their agreement with Hueston Woods and the benefits will make them better golfers.
“Hueston Woods gave us a really good deal. They gave memberships to all our kids as a promotional deal,” Sepsi said. “Once the season started, they can come out and practice whenever they want. They can go out and play. It’s a great deal. It’s nice to feel wanted.”
The arrangement with Hueston Woods will be a serious advantage to them, he said. They worked together out there a lot in early practices but now that the season has started they take advantage on their own.
“Golf is such an individual sport, they do not need the team to be out there. They can go out anytime,” he said. “A couple guys are there constantly.”
The challenge of the Hueston Woods course will help them as they approach the league tournament because they will have learned to play a harder course.
“It’s a great venue. I’ve talked to our athletic director about holding the conference tournament at Hueston Woods in the near future,” he said. “I firmly believe by the end of the season, we will be playing Hueston Woods better and that will carry over to other courses. I think by the end of the season, we will be improved. The conference tournament is at Weatherwax. Hueston Woods is more difficult and we will not be intimidated.”