Friday, August 23, 2013

SPORTS STORY >> Beebe golf team small but talented this year

Leader sportswriter

The Beebe golf team hosted Searcy at Greystone on Thursday for the Badgers’ third match of the season. With only two boys and three girls out for the Badgers, there was no possible way to keep team scores, a predicament that will follow the skeleton crew all season.

On the boys’ side, two potential solid scores were negated by one hole that caused added strokes, as Cole McNeil shot a 44 and Landon Davis finished up with a 43. The Lady Badger golfers continued to show improvement in their scores as well.

“All the girls played about average,” Beebe coach Justin Moore said. “They played pretty good. They’re still getting adjusted to playing golf. They’re doing well and having fun.”

With a group of girls players still trying to find their niche on the golf course and gain experience, boys players McNeil and Davis are the Badgers’ best hope at capturing individual honors this season.

“I’ve got two guys, Landon and Cole,” Moore said. “They’re my players. They are the ones expected to go out and shoot well every day. They’ve done that. You can tell when they go out and play, they know when they’ve cost themselves a stroke. It’s good to have players who can go out and shoot well every day, and when they don’t, they know what causes them to shoot in the 40s.

“We’re still trying to get settled in. This was our third match this year. We’ve played well year so far, my returning guys have. We’ve got about three or four more weeks of it. Three days a week where we’re playing, and then the conference tournament will be rolling around.”

Though they will not be able to compete at the team level during the 5A East Conference tournament due to low personnel numbers, the Badgers as individuals will have an advantage as the host team when the tournament is held at Greystone next month.

The girls players have shown improvement with every match, according to Moore. Sophomore Baylee Halford has lowered her score with every outing, and comes from a golfing family.

“She might not think she’s playing very good, but she’s actually improving stroke wise every time she goes out,” Moore said. “And then Valerie Cook, same thing, she’s shot consistent within one stroke every time. The other one I have is Kaylyn Longing, and she just started golfing two or three months ago. She’s showing improvement.

“Once you start, you make pretty significant jumps quick, and then you hit that point where it takes a couple of years to get better. My three girls are at that point right now where they’ve made pretty serious strides.”

The Badgers will face Searcy again on Monday at Searcy Country Club, and will host Vilonia at Greystone on Tuesday. They will make their second appearance of the season at Red Apple Inn in Heber Springs to take on the Panthers on Thursday.