The Lynchburg-Clay boys and girls golf teams are looking to turn the corner in 2018 and leave last season in the rearview. Both teams sport talented athletes that have found success in other sports and are looking to add golf to their list of conquests.
The Mustangs Head Coach Shawn McLaughlin is looking to the 2018 team to start a new legacy for the Lynchburg-Clay Golf program.
“Last year’s team was the last players from the group that won a league title and had success making it out of the sectional tournament all four years. This year’s team will hopefully start a new chapter of Lynchburg-Clay golf,” said McLaughlin.
The Lady Mustangs biggest transition in the 2018 season will be at the top as Lindsay Osborne enters her first year as Head Coach of the girls.
“The biggest difference with this year’s team compared to last year is that I will be taking on the coaching position for the Lynchburg-Clay Lady Mustangs golf team. We also have three incoming freshman on the team this year who will be starting their golfing career this season,” said Osborne.
McLaughlin is expecting his lone returning senior to have a big impact on the team in 2018, “I have one returning senior from last years team. Tyler Stevens made all league last year and will take over the reins of leadership this year. I also have junior Jordan Wills who was on the starting 5 from last year and has worked on his game over the summer and looks to be a solid 2nd player for the season.”
Osborne on the other hand expects all of her athletes to contribute to the success of the team this season, “I expect all of the girls to make improvements this season as this will be the beginning of their golfing career. I also expect some of the girls to step up and take on a leadership role because from the short time that I have been with them, these girls have the potential to be great team leaders and lead the team to a successful season.”
Both coaches feel that improvement is the key to success for their teams in the 2018 season.
“You always want to see improvement as the year goes along. I would like for this team to carry on the tradition of making it out of sectionals as a team,” McLaughlin said.
“A successful season for the Lady Mustangs will consist of the girls improving their golf game as individuals. A successful season for me will be to not only effectively coach and instruct the girls about the game of golf but to make this golf season an enjoyable learning experience for the girls so that they will want to continue to play and improve as a high school golfer,” Osborne said.
For the boys from Lynchburg McLaughlin realizes that the team is inexperienced but he thinks they have a love for the game that will help them be successful.
“This is a very inexperienced team. I only have the two boys who have ever played in a high school match. The strength of the team is effort, they love the game of golf and want to put in the practice to get better,” said McLaughlin.
With the girls Osborne will also have to overcome their inexperience on the golf course and she thinks she has the knowledge to help them overcome their struggles with hard work and dedication.
“As a team we do possess some strengths as well as weaknesses. Some of our weaknesses include being a young and inexperienced team. However, having said this, we have a lot of time to build up our golf skills and make improvements. Despite our weaknesses, one of our strengths is that we are a hardworking team that takes practice very seriously and strive to become better golfers. Also, coming in as a new coach I possess a lot of knowledge about the game of golf as I was a high school golfer myself as well as a collegiate golfer. I will be able to give these girls golf instruction that will help them to improve and make them become better high school golfers and to give them the skills that they need to continue their golfing career at the college level,” said Osborne.
McLaughlin wants to see the new additions to the team this season, both upper and underclassmen, improve as the season progresses.
“I have two new seniors playing golf for the first year. Damin Pierson will be an asset to this team and will hopefully push Jordan for the second spot. Senior Casey Barger is one if those Seniors I wish would have played all four years; he has potential but needs more than one year to be consistent. My three freshmen are all excited about playing Varsity golf. Braydon Eversole, Austin Wilkin, Elliott Richardson are the future of this program and I just want to see them progress through the year and get some experience under their belts this year,” said McLaughlin.
Osborne wants to see the girls on the team this season improve on a daily basis and will measure team and individual success based on the players’ improvement from the beginning of the season to the end.
“The goal this season will be for the girls to improve their individual golf scores from the beginning of the golf season by the end of the golf season. The goal is not about winning every single match but for each girl to work on her golf skills and to learn more about the golf swing and the game of golf itself. If each girl can improve her golf game then we will have accomplished our goal,” Osborne said.
Reach Ryan Applegate at 937-402-2572, or on Twitter @RCApplegate89.