Young PHS golf squad shows promise

by Greg Ceilley of The Review staff

PLYMOUTH – The Plymouth boys golf team embarks on a rebuilding season but there could be some growing pains along the way.

The Panthers return only three players, all letter winners, who saw varsity action last season in part-time roles – senior Aron Schilsky and juniors Zach Gambrell and Lucas Johnson.

Schilsky is one of only two seniors on the roster and the only player back who competed for the PHS squad in the 2013 Division 1 state tournament. The Panthers captured second place in their regional and sectional meets, and took 13th at state.

PHS graduated its top-four golfers from last season’s squad, led by Tyler Siech who won regional and sectional medalist honors and earned All-Eastern Wisconsin Conference first-team honors for the third straight year. The Panthers finished second in the EWC overall standings and were runners-up in the EWC Tournament.

“We are very inexperienced and lost most of our varsity players from last year. But the players we do have are excited about their opportunity,” said Panther head coach Dan Knaus.

“The varsity lineup is wide open this year. We only have a few players that have ever played a varsity match, and amongst them it has never been a fulltime spot.”

Knaus said the front-runners to earn varsity spots are probably Schilsky, Gambrell and juniors Jaryd Larson, Michael Bolland, Ian McKinch and Branden Steiner. Looking at the crop of younger players, Knaus said freshman Jake Willeford and sophomore Kyle Theune look promising heading into the season.

The coach pointed out the team’s strengths and weaknesses.

“The weakness would be our lack of experience but the strength could end up being the competition within our team to earn a varsity spot which will force the players to step up,” Knaus said.

He said the key for the team to achieve success this season is how the players step up.

“They have talent. They just need to be consistent,” he said.

Knaus said two-time defending overall champion Sheboygan Falls is the heavy favorite to win the EWC championship. The Falcons, who placed fourth in the 2013 D-2 state meet, are led by sophomore Matt Bachmann who was the EWC’s Golfer of the Year last season. Falls has also won the last two league tournaments.

“We are going to shoot for the top. If kids compete and get better each week, we hopefully can give Falls a run for their money,” Knaus said.

April 19 – County Meet, @ The Bull
April 21 – Sheboygan North Invite,
@ Whistling Straits
April 22 – New Holstein & Kiel, @ NH
April 28 – Plymouth, here
May 2 – Wiese Invitational, here
May 5 – Sheboygan Falls, @ The Bull
May 8 – @ Branch River Invite
May 10 – Kohler Invite, @ Whistling
May 12 – @ Waupun
May 13 – @ FRVC Branch River Invite
May 16 – @ Campbellsport
May 16 – @ Kewaskum
May 19 – Two Rivers, @ Fox Hills
May 22 – EWC Tourney, @ Whispering
Springs (FDL)
May 28 – Regional, here
* Home meets at Quit Qui Oc in Elkhart
Lake. Each EWC team hosts a conference mini-meet.
Seniors – *Aron Schilsky and Andrew Ringel.
Juniors – *Zach Gambrell, *Lucas
Johnson, Jaryd Larson, Branden Steiner, Ian McKinch, Michael Bolland and
Alex Krueger.
Sophomores – Kyle Theune, Noah
Ringel and TJ Moegenburg.
Freshmen – Jake Willeford.
___* _- _R_e_tu_r_n_in_g_ _ le_t_te_r_ w_i_ n_e_r._____

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