Boys golf enters 2017 with high expectations

Last season, the Magic boys golf team rotated nine guys through six varsity golf spots. This year, all nine are back, and needless to say, expectations are up.
“We’re dealing with the same crew,” said Coach Brian Hoffman. “It’s nice to get to know the same people.”
Hoffman said a good number of the kids spent considerable time on their game, both last summer and in the gym this winter. That combination of continuity and off-season work has Hoffman hoping Monticello can jump from the bottom three of the Mississippi 8 last season to the Top-3 this season.
If they’re to do that, they’ll likely be relying on sophomore Alex Allen to lead the way. As a freshman, Allen posted the lowest scoring average on the team last year. There is reason to believe he’ll be even better this year.
“He puts in a lot, a lot of time,” said Hoffman. “He puts in a lot of extra work hours on the course.”
And according to Hoffman, Allen isn’t shy about his goals for the season.
“He tells me he’s going to state this year,” said Hoffman. “I like that in a kid.”
Hoffman said the whole Magic team should benefit from Allen’s confidence, and abilities.
“It is really a great shot for these kids,” he said. “It kind of drives the rest of the crew. I think it’s really a good thing.”
Allen will have plenty of help. Right behind him to start the year figures to be Keith Holme and Alex Shaw.
Hoffman believes that Holme, a junior, is ready for a breakout year.
“I really expect Keith to show up really well this year,” said Hoffman. “He definitely has the ability.”
Other kids that come back with experience include Tanner Talbot, Ben Fisher, Luke Frucci, Tyler Anderson, Jaden Jarmuzek, and Caleb Moss.
Brian Nelson is a senior who played junior varsity last season, but that Hoffman believes could make the jump to varsity this season.
“He’s really improved,” said Hoffman. “He’s been working a lot at his game.”
The Magic figure to be as deep with solid golfers as any team around. But it will be a matter of finding at least four that can get Hoffman around his desired team score of 320, and boost the team toward the top part of the Mississippi 8.
“If we can average around 80 as a team, that’s usually a pretty good showing,” said Hoffman.
Monti opens the season with a home invite at the Monticello Country Club on Wednesday, April 5. A total of 17 teams are expected to compete at the meet, which is scheduled to begin at noon.

Contact Clay Sawatzke at clay.sawatzke@ecm-inc.com