By Dan Truttschel

Sports Correspondent

It’s no secret that the Big Foot-Williams Bay boys golf team will have to battle some inexperience this spring.

But the hope for longtime head coach Bob Sullivan is those young players grow up by the time all is said and done.

Big Foot returns just two letter-winners in 2017, and Sullivan knows there will be some growing pains, especially early.

“(We have a) very small squad again this year and (are) lacking in experience,” he said. “I do expect us to improve on our performance from last year.”

For that to happen, Sullivan knows his young Chiefs will have to put in the time in practice, which he hopes will translate to solid efforts on the course.

“(The keys are) the usual, (to) work hard every day to improve, focus on deficiencies, improve course management and decision making,” Sullivan said.

Leading the way will be the team’s lone senior returning letter-winner, Lars Larsen – who, to this point, has taken on that leadership role as one of the few players with significant varsity experience, Sullivan said.

“(He) has displayed leadership with his teammates and works hard to keep everybody positive,” Sullivan said.

The team’s other returning letter-winner is junior Jacob Watters, and he also will be looked to as a leader, Sullivan said.

Both Larsen and Watters will be leaned on heavily, he added.

“(I expect them) simply to set a good example on and off the course and to help encourage the newer golfers,” Sullivan said.

Looking for their first varsity letter are seniors Hans Murtell and Mason Vandermeer; juniors Bo Freytag, Elizabeth Hibbard, Rocky Lavariega, Makenzie Trosclair and Reese Vandebogert; and sophomores Finn Rowe, Jacob Trosclair and Tim Weiss.

As for the Rock Valley Conference, Sullivan said Palmyra-Eagle appears to be the front runner in the South Division after it won the title a year ago.

How the rest of the conference race plays out remains to be seen.

“A lot of the (other) teams have small numbers and similar levels of inexperience this year,” Sullivan said. “I believe we can finish first or second in the RVC South, and if we get some steady improvement, could make a top five showing at regionals.”

Aside from the inexperience, the Chiefs – and every other spring team for that matter – have had to battle the elements early.

But Sullivan, who is in his 12th year as head coach, said his team has benefitted from having access to the driving range at the Big Foot Sports Academy, which has helped the Chiefs get their work in, even when Mother Nature won’t cooperate.

“We are fortunate enough to have easy access to (that) and can hit balls under the covered mats when it rains,” he said.

Assisting Sullivan this year is former head coach Mike Sroda, who led the program for about 15 years before Sullivan took the helm.

Chiefs second in opener

Big Foot hosted the first RVC mini meet of the season early last week at the Big Foot Country Club and finished second behind Palmyra-Eagle’s 191 with a 211. Beloit Turner was third with a 216, followed by Clinton with a 217, Parkview with a 224 and Brodhead with a 237.

Weiss led the way with a 48, followed by Rowe with a 52, Watters with a 54, Larsen with a 57 and Jake Trosclair with a 62.

 
 

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