The 2019 North Laurel Jaguars boys golf season is in full swing and Coach Chris Stone believes that his young team has a lot to look forward to this season.
After losing two golfers from this past season, including Alex Binder who graduated and Cole Kelley who has decided to spend his senior year focusing on his basketball career, Stone said he only has three golfers on the team who have varsity experience.
“We have still one of our top golfers, Micah Steely, returning, along with senior Jimmy Storm,” Stone said. “We have three or four other sophomores returning this year that we’re expecting to step up and fills those spots on varsity for us.
“We have three seventh graders who are also on our team and this is their first year in golf, so I would say we’re a little inexperienced but we’re improving every day and working hard.”
Stone said that so far this season, he has seen a lot of positive attitudes, a good work ethic and improvement from all.
The Jaguars began their season on Friday at Eagle’s Nest in the Somerset Invitational where Stone said his team finished in the middle of the pack and Steely led the team with a score of 84.
North Laurel followed up Friday’s invitational with their own home invitational held at the London Country Club, where Steely once again led the team with a score of 85.
“We are improving and learning the course,” Stone said. “One of the things the guys are working really hard on is course management and it’s started to show up in these first two matches.
“Right now, we’re not as worried about the score but about minimizing the mistakes, staying positive and when we do that, our scores will improve.”
Stone said it was important that his Jaguars play at Eagle’s Nest, where the region tournament will be held in the postseason, to give his golfers an idea of what to expect, as the course has a lot of trees surrounding it, is very narrow and has a lot of hills to manage.
“It makes you have to place your shots well,” he said.
North Laurel’s schedule this season will have several matches at the London Country Club, which Stone said is very similar to Eagle’s Nest.
“To prepare for the postseason, Eagle’s Nest is where it’s at and we went right there to get an idea of how it is,” Stone said. “London (Country Club) matches up a lot with Eagle’s Nest so that will help to prepare us for the postseason.”
For the rest of the season, Stone is expecting to see two of his sophomores step up this season, as well as seeing overall improvements from all golfers on the team.
“I would like to improve on our scores by about five to 10 strokes over the season and I really look forward to Micah Steely leading us and possibly making a run in the region,” Stone said.