Golf teams expect to come out hacking

With just one returning senior on either squad, youth abounds this year for both the South Kitsap boys and girls golf teams — and that’s not entirely a bad thing.

Not when the girls have Emma Mobley ready to lead them and the boys have a trio of young studs looking to the state tournament.

“I think we’ll win a lot of matches this year,” South boys coach Sean Duttry said. “I don’t know if we’re going to contend for the (Narrows League) league title or anything, but I think we will win more than we lose.”

That’s because the Wolves return a young team that saw plenty of action last year and has a taste of what may come. And one with absolutely no seniors.

With the long-hitting Joel Schenfeld, Kenneth Eisenhut’s short game and the steady consistency of Luke DeVault, Duttry has a solid foundation to build on. And he has three naturals to lead his young team.

“A lot of them don’t have any competitive golf experience and they don’t know how to score,” Duttry said. “They have talent and beautiful swings … but it’s different when you’re under the gun.”

“(Schenfeld, Eisenhut and DeVault) know what it takes,” Duttry said. “All the young guys haven’t seen it yet. So they’re kind of blind as to what kind of golf it takes to make it to state.”

And all three are looking to lead the team and make a run at the state tournament, even though Schenfeld and Eisenhut are sophomores and DeVault is just a junior.

“I was ready for it last year,” Schenfeld said. “I was looking forward to this year playing 1-2. I was confident we could be at the top.”

“We have to play not to beat each other but be competitive,” Eisenhut said. “Have fun being competitive but get better so we’re confident when we’re playing in tournaments.”

South does get a bit of an advantage this year when it plays host to matches now that both McCormick Woods and Trophy Lake are being used.

Most of South’s golf team grew up playing one or both of the courses, giving the Wolves a huge home-course advantage.

“We’ve got two home courses,” Duttry said. “All the kids get a chance to shine on their own home course. It’s awesome.”

While the boys have their big three to lead them, so do the girls. But they may need more leadership and patience than the boys do with eight beginners rounding out the team.

“When you have this many beginners and you play a game where you aren’t allowed to play defense, all you can do is go out and do the best that you can,” girls coach Tom LaFerriere said. “And that’s the way we will look at it.”

Mobley, a senior, heads up a group of mostly beginners, but with junior Sara Mobley and sophomore Kate Clark, there is plenty of potential.

The Wolves will be forced to grow up quickly with eight new players, including one freshman, five sophomores, a junior and just one senior.

But LaFerriere has plenty of optimism for the here and now and the future.

“All three of my girls can set real reasonable goals of (making the second day of the district tournament),” LaFerriere said. “All three of them have that potential.

“For anyone of them, state is a possibility,” LaFerriere said. “And I know for one of them, that’s her goal. And I expect her to give it a good run if not be there.”

That would be Emma Mobley, who has made the cut to the second day of the district tournament but has yet to get in the top 16 that move on to the state tournament.

“I think that’s Emma goal this year and I would think it’s a reasonable goal for both Sara and Kate,” LaFerriere said. “I think as a senior, Emma is taking that on a little more.”

While Mobley has the best chance to advance into the postseason, LaFerriere is more concerned about what happens in the next few weeks. He wants to get his young group as much playing experience as possible and build a foundation for the years to come.

“There are a few in this group that will emerge in the next couple of weeks,” he said. “And the rest will come along.”

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