WEBSTER CITY - In his first year in charge of the Webster City boys' golf team, David Brighton understands his job.
He can describe it in one word: Rebuilding.
"It's going to be a rebuilding year because we're going to be very young," Brighton, who spent 10 years in charge of the Indianola boys' golf program in the 1990s, said as he gets set to take the Lynx into their first meet of the season at Briggs Woods Golf Course on Tuesday. "We're going to be very young, but we've got a lot of guys that are very eager to learn and they're progressing."
DFJ file photo by Troy Banning
Karter Lenning watches his tee shot in the air on the par-4 second hole at Briggs Woods Golf Course last spring. A senior, Lenning is one of the few veterans on the Webster City boys’ team this season as the Lynx get set to open their season at home on Tuesday.
Daniel Stoakes, a two-time North Central Conference individual champion and the on-course leader of the Lynx program for the last four years, is now playing golf in Texas after graduating last May. That leaves a void in the lineup, and Brighton says a number of players could jump into the top six and compete at the varsity level this spring.
"We probably have eight guys that will qualify to play in the varsity spots throughout the year," he said. "We've spent a lot of time learning so far on the range."
Senior Karter Lenning has the most varsity experience, and classmate Brandon Carlson also figures to see ample varsity time over the next month. But it will be freshman Logan Yates that will take up residence in the No. 1 spot for Tuesday's opener against Algona Bishop Garrigan and Hampton-Dumont.
Yates may be a novice when it comes to high school competition, but he's not a rookie when it comes to competition on the golf course.
"He's going to be a very good golfer once his career is over," Brighton said of Yates. "He's played in a lot of tournaments, and he's got very nice technique and very nice fundamentals. The mental game is going to be very important for him."
Sophomore Doug Stoakes also saw varsity time a season ago, and freshman John Ferrell is expected to be in the mix as well.
"We're still in the building process, but I think the future looks very bright for Webster City golf," Brighton said. "I see a lot of very positive things happening."
Webster City girls' golf coach Catherine Schroeder has also spent much of the preseason teaching, as she too possesses a roster comprised of numerous inexperienced golfers. Only a handful of players have been tested in a competitive environment, led by senior Maddy Miller, and it will be up to her to lead the way.
"She's a great leader as far as helping the younger kids," Schroeder said of Miller. "The kids kind of look up to her to how to play the game and how to practice, and she's taken some of the freshmen underneath her wing, and it's really neat to see."
Miller will be joined by Maricruz Arriola, Shaylor Chamberlin and Jennifer Baccam as regulars in the varsity lineup. But after that the spots are still up for grabs.
"It will be a learning experience for us all," Schroeder said. "Most of (the girls) have never picked up a club, but we've had beautiful weather and it's been nice to go out and practice."
The Lynx girls will also open their season on Tuesday, but they'll head to Spring Valley Golf Course in Livermore to take on Bishop Garrigan and Hampton-Dumont.