By: Tim Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Editor
Johnson County will take to the links minus one of the area’s best golfers and a new head coach in 2017. Eric Crabtree will take over the program from Matt Bray who is now an assistant football coach at the high school.
Isaiah Penley is now a member of Alice Lloyd’s golf team, leaving the team some big shoes to fill. Crabtree knows that’s some big shoes to fill but is hoping his kids can meet that challenge.
“I’ve coached about everything you can coach up here, and if I’ve not done it here then I’ve done it in Virginia,” said Crabtree. “I’m always optimistic about building up a sport when it’s down. We don’t have a senior on the course and losing Isaiah was big, but we’ve got some kids with a good feel for the game that work hard. I believe they’ll step up and do very well.”
Reece Stout, Jayden Joiner and Gavin Reece will play in the top three slots. The other ones are up for grabs.
“Reece, Jayden and Gavin are definitely our top three but we’re still working on filling the fourth spot,” added Crabtree. “Petie Pavusek, Jackson Mays and Josh Jones are three guys that will interchange at the four, five and six spots. You only take the top four scores so you want for one or two of those to play well. Anything you get after that is a plus.”
Crabtree has some other players that he is high on. Zack Winters, Tyler Burleson and Jordan Poe could step in and play. Kevin Petralia is a new kid that could find his way in the mix.
“I’ll never count anyone out of the mix because I haven’t got to see them play a lot,” added Crabtree. “Some of them played last year but are still new to golf.”
Crabtree feels like the new conference alignment will help his squad.
“We are kind of the bigger down in our league. Some of the schools don’t field a full team but all of them have some good golfers.”
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