Wildcats try to grow with youth in 2015

By Robert Stegbauer - [email protected]

The Whiteoak golf team has a new coach this year in Steve Large. Coach Large is trying to bring stability to a program that has not seen it is a few years, this being their third coach in as many years. Although this will be coach Large’s first year coaching varsity golf, he has more than 20 years experience coaching football, basketball, and baseball at Western Brown, Reading and Summit Country Day. He also has a son who is a freshman at Western Brown who he has passed along his knowledge of the game of golf and he is a starts on the varsity golf team.

The Wildcat golf team has 10 golfers this season, only three of them being returning players. The lone senior on the team is Jacob Burns and there are two sophomores and seven freshman, which makes for a young and inexperience team.

“Jacob [Burns] has been working hard since I took over the program,” Coach Large said of his senior leader. “He has been showing up at the golf course to practice on the days we do not have a match or a scheduled practice. I’ve been very happy with him so far. He has been my most consistent golfer since we started the season. Jacob, Aaron Watson and Charley Skinner have been our top scorers in the two matches we’ve had thus far. Freshman Ryan Roberts has shown some flashes of talent with a 48 at Buttermilk Golf Course vs Ripley last week.

“I think we are going to struggle this season for the simple fact that I have seven freshman, two sophomores, and one senior on this year’s squad. These kids need stability in the program and I plan on giving them that. I hope to be here for a long time. Our guys have already seen some of the best players in our league. I have purposely asked those top players (with my guys listening to the conversation) what they’ve done to get where they are today. My guys have taken that advice to heart. You can’t just show up in August and expect to start playing good golf – you have to play almost all year round (with the exception of winter of course). That is what I am trying to instill into my guys – we need to spend more time working on our chipping and putting and the guys have been working hard since we started a few weeks ago.”

“To be completely honest, I think we will get beat in the opening round of Sectionals. We are young but we are improving every day. I want my guys to see the better teams/players (at Sectionals) and watch how they go about practicing before a match/tournament and see how they carry themselves during a match/tournament.”

Whiteoak has lost twice to start the season to two solid teams; Ripley and Lynchburg-Clay. Lynchburg, along with West Union, are favorites to win the SHAC this season.

Reach Robert Stegbauer at 937-393-3456 ext. 1679 or on Twitter @RStegbauer,

By Robert Stegbauer

[email protected]