Some key members of the Lovell High School golf team have moved on, but four members return with a wealth of experience as the Bulldogs prepare to open the fall 2011 season this week at the Lander Invitational.
There are 12 student athletes working with coaches Ben Fowler and Dan Wolvington this fall, and eight of the 12 have experience. Gone are graduated seniors Mason Fowler, Jared Minchow and Jeff Lewis, as well as exchange student Daniel Gran, who has returned to Austria.
Leading the squad into the 2011 fall season is senior Cody King, who was the number-one golfer on the team a year ago and enters the season in the same spot. King has a wealth of experience under his belt.
“We expect a good season from Cody,” Fowler said. “He’s battled for four years, and he has a lot to prove in his mind. He just needs to play his own game and keep up with himself and not everybody else.”
Starting the season at the two spot is sophomore Chase Tippetts, who saw varsity action as a freshman.
“Chase played a ton of golf this summer, playing a lot of courses,” Fowler said. “He has a great swing and a good head on his shoulders. A state championship is not out of his mind.”
Right in the mix with King and Tippetts for the top three spots is sophomore Brandon Wolvington, who also played a lot of golf this summer, Fowler said.
“Brandon took some lessons from Mitchell Golf in Billings, and everything is dialed in,” Fowler said. “He has a swing issue going on, but if everything works out, he’ll do great.”
Vying for the final two spots on the roster will be four golfers, Fowler said: returning senior Jesse Bassett, senior Tony Rodriguez, who played for the team in the spring, junior Kaleb Hitz, who is in his third year with the team, and sophomore Isaac Schroeder, who played as a freshman and has “a good-looking swing on him,” the coach said.
Also out are senior Ryan Scheeler, who is working out some work-related issues, Fowler said, and freshmen C.J. Murphey and Sloan Colvin, who are “working on every aspect of their game.”
“Practicing every day is doing them a world of good,” Fowler said.
For the first time in five years, Fowler won’t be able to lean on daughter Mason to head up the girls squad, but returning to lead the girls squad this fall is senior Jordan Frost, who has lots of varsity experience. Frost had a very good regional tournament in the spring, Fowler said.
New to the team this fall is Alyssa Geiser, who has a lot of athleticism, Fowler said. Fowler is pleased to have 12 students out for the team this fall.
“Danny (Wolvington) is helping full time,” Fowler said. “He brings a lot of experience to the table. We should vie for a state championship this year.”
Practice started Monday in the midst of a thunderstorm, but the weather was beautiful Tuesday as the team worked hard to prepare for the season-opening tournament in Lander this Thursday and Friday. Golfers tee off today (Thursday) at noon and Friday at 9 a.m., Fowler said.
Here’s the 2011 fall schedule:
Aug. 18-19 at Lander
Aug. 26-27 at Powell/Cody
Sept. 1-2 at Worland
Sept. 16-17 at Thermopolis
Sept. 22-24 State Golf at Kemmerer
By David Peck