With five on the roster, three returning Trojans will serve as the heart of Hillsboro’s golf team.
“I’m hoping we’ll be able to use all five guys for varsity this year,” coach O’Hare said. “But there are three young guys returning from last year that will be our core.”
Sophomores Colin Settle, Elliot Ollenburger, and Elias Werth are back for another season.
Settle and Ollenburger both participated in junior golf, but last year was Werth’s first time to pick up a club for the Trojans.
“All three of them have a little more experience and they’re all pretty competitive, O’Hare said. “They want to be good and I’m already seeing some improvements from last year.”
He noted their collective consistency and short games had improved.
“Their maturity level is up because they have been out there on the course with other players and that is sometimes hard to overcome. They all have swings that can produce good shots,” O’Hare said, “but those good shots aren’t always consistent.”
New to the team are junior Carson Herbel and freshman Lane Flaming.
O’Hare said Herbel is about at the same level as Werth was last year.
“Carson is a competitive, athletic kid that wants to do well,” O’Hare said. “He’s played with family but had no formal instruction. He’s had a little frustration as we’ve been trying to fix some things in his swing, but he putts well and his chipping has improved just this week.”
Flaming has junior golf experience. O’Hare said Flaming has good hand-eye coordination and wants to do well, much like the other players.
“They’re all quick learners,” he said. “It’s going to be a fun group.”
Practices have been focused on understanding course management, he said. Knowing when to use irons instead of drivers, playing safe shots, and recovering from bad shots have been as important as the quest for consistent shots.
He said curbing frustration by keeping composure after bad shots has been important in practices, too.
“The biggest thing I want to see this season is to increase our consistency and improve every day,” O’Hare said. “I would also like to see the team shoot around or break a 340 this season. Once they break each 90 it will be easier to do it consistently.”
The Trojans tee off Tuesday in Herington.