PHS has nice mix of experience, youth

by Greg Ceilley of The Review staff

PLYMOUTH – With a strong nucleus returning from last year, the Plymouth boys golf team has its sights set on a successful 2015 season.

The Panthers have five letter winners back, led by sophomore Jake Willeford who was a Division 1 sectional qualifier and a 2014 All-Eastern Wisconsin Conference second-team pick.

In addition to Willeford, PHS has two other golfers back who were varsity regulars – seniors Zach Gambrell and Jaryd Larson. Gambrell led the Panthers in last year’s EWC Tournament with a tie for sixth place. The other letter winners are junior TJ Moegenburg and senior Lucas Johnson who both saw some varsity action last season.

“The program is very optimistic because of a good blend of younger, newer players and also a group of experienced seniors,” said Panther head coach Dan Knaus.

“We have decent depth. All five players have good skills. We are still lacking that player that can give us a low score every meet.”

Knaus expects Willeford and Gambrell to lead the Panthers.

“Jake is back as our No. 1 player. His goal this season is to shoot consistent scores in the 30s [for nine holes]. Zach is also one of our key players coming back from last season,” said Knaus.

The coach pointed out two newcomers who have impressed him.

“Sophomore Cole Bogenschuetz and freshman Cade Knaus [coach’s son] have played well and are both in the varsity mix as of right now,” said coach Knaus.

The keys for the team to have success this season, according to the coach, include playing smart, consistent golf and having someone step up to shoot a low score each meet.

Coach Knaus thinks Sheboygan Falls is the EWC title favorite, with PHS, Campbellsport and Waupun contending. Falls won the last three overall EWC championships and league tournaments. The Falcons are led by junior Matt Bachmann was the EWC’s Golfer of the Year in 2014 and is the two-time defending EWC Tourney medalist.

PHS placed third in the overall league race and third in the EWC Tourney last year. Campbellsport was second overall and in the tournament.

Coach Knaus mentioned his top goals for the season.

“Get better each and every week, play smart consistent golf, and compete for a titles in conference, regionals and sectionals,” he said.

The Panthers finished sixth in their regional last season and didn’t qualify for sectional play.

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