AUSTIN EDITION -- AUSTIN BOYS GOLF PREVIEW
The spring of 2002 marks a season of changes for the Austin High boys golf team.
The Packers have a new coach, one regular and two letterwinners back from last season's team which missed qualifying for the state tournament by one stroke.
"We have a number of guys with experience, but we have a lot of holes to fill," first-year coach Corey Haugen said.
Haugen, who coached at the junior high level the past four years, takes over for Claudia Pilot, who retired from coaching after last season. Haugen is not related to former Austin golf coach Klem Haugen, who is in the state coaches Hall of Fame.
Adam Plotts is one player Haugen hasn't coached before. Plotts is the only regular returning from last year's team that was 5-5 in dual meets and 5-4 in the Big Nine. Plotts, a senior captain, begins his fifth year on the varsity. He qualified for the state tournament as a freshman and last year had a season average of 80.3 with a low of 71.
Junior Mike Osboe is the only other letterwinner back. He competed in four varsity meets in 2001 and had a season average of 83.7. Junior Matt Ball also competed in one varsity meet last year.
Juniors Jon Bain and Chad Peterson, up from the 7-1 junior varsity, as also expected to be varsity regulars this season.
"We want to stay optimistic," Haugen said. "We have a strong and consistent five."
Even though the Packers lost eight of their top 10 players from a year ago, Haugen has high expectations.
"We're hoping to perform at where we did last year," he said. "A lot of these kids are ready to step up. They are a real strong group when it comes down to it. They've been playing well for a long time."
Sophomores Troy Hoefflin and Travis Coyle and freshman Ben Meyer figure to battle for the sixth varsity spot. Newcomer Matt Sellers joins Plotts as the only other senior on the squad, which has 23 players out in grades 9-12.
The Packers, who play their home matches at the Austin Country Club, haven't had much time outdoors yet. Haugen says it will be tough to evaluate the team until then. Austin was scheduled to open today at Rochester Century, but Haugen says that match will be postponed because Eastwood Golf Course is not yet open.
2002 AUSTIN BOYS GOLF
Seniors -- Adam Plotts*, Matt Sellers. Juniors -- Mike Osboe*, Matt Ball, Jon Bain, Chad Peterson, Jon Barrett. Sophomores -- Travis Coyle, Troy Hoefflin, Erik Sherman. Freshmen -- Ben Meyer, Quinn Ellingson.
* -- Denotes returning letterwinners.
April 11 -- at Rochester Century, 3:30 p.m.
April 19 -- Mankato East, 2:30 p.m.
April 22 -- Albert Lea, 2:30 p.m.
April 26 -- at New Prague Invitational, 1 p.m.
April 29 -- Winona, Mankato West, 2:30 p.m.
May 2 -- at Albert Lea, 3:30 p.m.
May 7 -- with JM at Owatonna, 3:30 p.m.
May 10 -- at Hutchinson Invitational, 1 p.m.
May 11 -- at Fairmont Invitational, 9 a.m.
May 13 -- at Eden Prairie Invitational, 2:30 p.m.
May 17 -- with Faribault at Mayo, 3:30 p.m.
May 20 -- Big Nine Tournament at Austin, 10 a.m.
May 23 -- Section prelims, TBA
May 28 -- Section 1AA finals, TBA
June 4-6 -- State tournament at Coon Rapids, TBA