Experience necessary for Riverland's Clark

Blue Devils open season today in Twin Cities

By Scott A. Kolb

Led by sophomore Jeff Clark, who was sixth in this summer's national tournament, the Riverland golf team starts the season today with its traditional trip to Minneapolis.

"The opening meet usually has 10-12 teams and it's a good indication of where you stack up early," Riverland coach Dave Lillemon said. "We could be among the top three in the region this season. We have a good group of golfers."


The key guys back are sophomores Clark, Jake Betts and Joe Hewitt. Bettis didn't play at state last year, but he has the capabilities of being in the fourth spot. Hewitt will also be in the top four players rotation on the team.

"We have a good core group back; Jeff is playing with a lot of confidence and that kind of lifts the other guys," Lillemon said. "Jake and Joe give us good sophomore leadership and we will be a deep team, so there will be some competition for the top spots."

The Freshmen coming in are: Andrew Roth, out of New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva, Grady Rider, a 2000 Austin High graduate, and Brett Werflein from Albert Lea. Jason Hubley is also a freshman and Curtis Peterson played at NRHEG last year.

"We have five guys coming in and they'll push for the spots," Lillemon said of the prospects. "Roth and Rider have both shown a lot of potential and will be beneficial to the team. We have the have a chance to be stronger than last year with all of our depth.

"Jeff (Clark) is a solid leader and with the good freshmen, it will be fun to see how we do. It's just a six-week season, so the first meet is big."

Heather Selmecki is the only woman playing for Riverland this season. The freshman golfer is the only definite player on the women's team, although the coach says there are a few more prospects that might play in future meets.

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