Four returning lettermen, none seniors, give the Oak Harbor High School boys golf team an experienced but young squad for 2012.
Two-year letterman junior Caleb Knaack leads the group, which also includes sophomores Hunter Adams, Steven Timm and William Poe.
Also returning is senior Quinnton Wallace who lettered as a sophomore.
The key newcomer, according to coach David Smith, is senior Jerin Applegarth.
Smith said, “I expect great things from Caleb, Hunter and William this year as returning varsity. I am hoping they will be the leaders that help the team win some matches. I also think Jerin can step up as a new addition to the team. He has scored well consistently so far in practice.”
Smith said his goals this year are for the golfers to “focus on each shot and each hole” and to be “smart about their golf game and shot selection.”
The team’s strength is its willingness to be coached, Smith said. “They seem eager to learn and to listen.”
He added, “I think I can really build on the skills they already have and hopefully help them improve their game and scores by the middle of the season. This group also seems to have good unity. They all get along well, help each other out and encourage each other to do well.”
Lack of consistency is a weakness, according to Smith.
The future looks bright, Smith said, for his young squad. He is carrying 13 members on the squad, most of which are juniors and sophomores.
Smith, who is a first-year coach, said, “I am very excited about this season and the group of golfers that I get to coach. I feel like this is going to be a fun year with some good golfing thrown in.”
The Wildcats host Lake Stevens, Monroe and Edmonds-Woodway at 1 p.m. Monday, March 11.