By BLAKE FAITH
The Arcola/Arthur Lovingtom Atwood Hammond golf team aims to win its conference and get back to sectionals.
Head Coach Greg Gisinger said that in the first couple weeks of practice he has noticed that his team is a pretty confident team. The confidence comes from the amount of seniors and guys that have started playing golf as the season started.
Coach Gisinger challenged his seniors to play more competitive golf over the summer. When the season started there was a tournament staged to see where the players were at.
“With a lot of experience back, I want them to get in that realm of the mode of competition early,” Coach Gisinger said. “Not everyone goes through the motions and stuff.”
The focus for his seniors and leaders on his team was to lead by example. With that comes the leaders sharing their experience with the younger players that include etiquette, speed of play and the mental game. The mental game includes experienced players to raise the younger players ceiling while giving them more mental toughness to where the players if they’re having a bad outing csm come out and still grind out a decent score.
Braden Kauffman and Aaron Seegmiller are expected to not only have good performing seniors, but also be the leaders of the team.
Kauffman said being a leader to this team means a lot to him and it shows that putting in a lot of work can get you to that spot on your team.
“I have been on the varsity team ever since freshman year so being known as one of the leaders means a lot, because I have been putting in the work to get me to this point in my career,” Kauffman said.
Kauffman’s individual goal is to average a better score than he did last year and make it farther than he did in last year’s postseason. Kauffman wants his lasting mark to be that everyone remembers the good times and that like past seniors leave behind funny stories and memories for the younger players in the program.
Seegmiller said that being a leader of this team means a lot and that this has been one of his goals since he was a freshman and got a taste of varsity.
“To be able to accomplish that goal truly means a lot,” Seegmiller said. “As far as accepting my role I’ve been making attempts to get to know the freshman and show them the ropes as they were shown to me as a freshman.”
“We are looking to capitalize at conference this year, and for my fellow senior, Braden Kauffman, it would be our fourth conference win in our four years on varsity together,” Seegmiller said. “For my own personal goals I hope to progress to the state meet.”
Seegmiller wants to leave behind his sense of humor as his lasting mark to the program.
“It’s well known how hard competitive golf can be and how easy it can be to give up while playing,” Seegmiller said. “Knowing this I’ve always tried to bring some humor to the game, especially during practices. I would love my legacy to be that you can have a lot of fun while practicing effectively.”
The team’s goal for this season is to win conference, send a team to sectionals and possibly advance a couple guys to the state championship.
“I think and feel like we’ve got the best team,” Coach Gisinger said. “We feel like we have the team that can compete for a regional title. And we want to get a team to the sectionals and at least one or two guys to state. We would want those players to experience that state championship experience.”
Coach Gisinger’s overall message about his team and this season is that they are going to play really good golf and that he enjoys the team he has.
“I enjoy being around them and playing golf with them. against them,” Coach Gisinger said. “We have fun games and stuff. I just think that we got a good group of kids that are good to be around and they’re good golfers.”