The short golf season can make scheduling a little daunting, yet even after playing three major matches in their very first week back at school, the Longhorns were able to come out strong. Seniors Nathan Timbs, Morgan Eggers, and Nate Plyler all made their return at Red Tail last Monday, and were joined by an equally strong group of sophomores and juniors including Isaiah Penley, Brandon Vannoy, Sawyer Main, and Dylan Nichols.
New to the course was a fairly large incoming group of freshmen such as Sam Kerley, Daniel Newton, and Noah Conder. Also new to the game were Marly Eggers and Abby Arnett, the first two female golfers to represent the Longhorns in the past few years. Although neither had much experience with the sport, Coach Steve Arnold was very please with how quickly both seem to be improving. It is great to have the girls this year, Arnold said. Abby Arnett and Marly Eggers are a welcome to the team, and have really picked the game up quick. Their goal is to hit is as straight as possible without worrying about distance, then take what we have done in practice from 50 yards in and try to lower their score from there. They fit right in with the boys, but have to realize the boys have a lot more experience than they do so they must learn to play within themselves, and only attempt what shots they are capable of hitting.
Considering how little time on the course they have had, both Arnett and Eggers did remarkably well in their first two matches. Facing schools like Sullivan East, Elizabethton, Happy Valley, and Unaka, both girls were not only able to keep up with the competition, but also in some cases actually best their opponents. In Tuesdays match at Tri-Cities against Sullivan East Arnett came in with a respectable 54, just one stroke higher than Eggers at 53. Back at home Thursday, Arnett held her count while Eggers actually cut hers by two strokes at 51. In all, that put the duo just three strokes out of range of both Happy Valley and Unaka who each had larger teams to help average out their overall scores.
On the boys side Nathan Timbs started off a little rough, shooting in the mid 40s, but continued to improve with the next two matches to finish at 41 and 40 respectively. Surprisingly Timbs lost his number one ranking to his younger teammate, Isaiah Penley, who managed to dip into the 30s against Sullivan East. Brandon Vannoy and Morgan Eggers rounded out the top four, both staying in the mid to low 40s themselves and helping to give the team and amazing six conference wins through the first week.
The top four have the talent to do what they have done, began Coach Arnold Undefeated so far in the conference with only one loss to Tennessee High. Most of the boys have played quite a bit over the summer so they came into the season ready to compete. The more we play, the lower the scores should go for all players. These boys love the game and they love to compete, which is one of the reasons they play so well.
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