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HILLSBORO: Rebuilding year in store for Trojan golf

Staff writer

For the last three years, Trojan golf coach Scott O’Hare has been able to enjoy the luxury of fielding a team that’s managed to secure top-10 finishes at the Class 2A state championship.

But as O’Hare embarks on his 21st year, youth and experience will leave him no other choice but to rebuild.

Elliott Ollenburger and Elias Werth graduated, as did Hillsboro’s top finisher at state, Colin Settle.

Joe Knoll was on track to be the Trojans’ biggest weapon until an ACL-injury in early January derailed his senior season.

With Darian Ratzlaff opting not to return for a final year, all that’s left from last year’s ninth-place team is senior Avery Unruh.

“We will obviously be very young and inexperienced from a competition standpoint,” O’Hare said. “With a team primarily consisting of freshmen and sophomores, even our only upperclassman, just took up competitive golf last year.

“However, I’m excited to work with this group. They all seem very interested in the learning process and excited about the game.”

Unruh did a respectable job for a first-year player, competing in all the Trojans’ varsity meets despite a season-low of 94.

Sophomores Zach Dittert and Paul Glanzer only saw JV action a year ago with Glanzer’s season highlight coming with a top-five finish at Hillsboro’s JV meet.

Rounding out the Trojans is the freshmen quartet of Eli Dalke, Frank Wichert, Kate Maxfield, and Rylie Daniels.

Dalke, Daniels, and Wichert aren’t complete strangers to the game, having taken part in Hillsboro’s Junior Golf Program at some point during the summer.

Maxfield enters with the least experience. She was introduced to golf over the summer.

With the shortage of experience and upperclassmen, O’Hare’s main goals are simple: learn the basics of the game, becoming familiar with and proficient at applying the proper rules, improving daily, and having fun.

“Our biggest challenge will just be the volume of what needs to be covered,” O’Hare said. “With so little experience, we will have to manage time learning the basics of the swing, consistent ball striking, the short game around the greens as well as the rules of golf, course management, and the mental side of the game.

“It will be a tremendous amount of the golfers to take in. I just need to make sure I don’t overwhelm them with too much, and keep them from getting overly anxious thinking about too many things.”

Last modified March 28, 2019

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