You’ve got to like this if you’re a Carthage fan.
The boys golf team, beginning the season earlier than ever before with a match before spring break, opened the spring up with a victory against Webb City Friday at Briarbrook Country Club in Carl Junction.
Carthage posted a 174, a stroke better than Webb City.
“We’ve never had one before spring break,” head coach Lowell Catron said. “I kind of like that. It gives them a match ahead of time. That way they can see where they’re at. This gives them a whole week or so to practice leading up to the rest of the season, so hopefully they can get a lot of work in this week and just work on stuff they need to.”
Garrett Roberts led the Tigers with a 40 on the day, and Tres Wright posted a 42. Kole Borland followed at 43, Derrick Catron added a 49 and Carson Trent finished at 53.
Webb City was led by a 40, and the Cardinals also posted a 42, 43, 50 and 54.
Carthage also won the day’s junior varsity match with a score of 210. Webb City finished at 235. For the Tigers, Hunter Smith shot a 47, Mason Fairleigh posted a 51, Logan Jones finished at 54, Ben Hoover added a 58 and Lanceton Petty shot a 62.
“The first match is always interesting,” Catron said. “We had five freshmen playing, so that was good. Carson and Derrick got some varsity experience.”
The Tigers were actually missing two out of their top five due to academic commitments.
“I was pleased,” Catron said. “I don’t think they were real happy with scores, but these4 matches are to get them ready for tournament play. It’s a good indication of what they need to do and where they’re at. Hopefully they’ll work hard at it.”
Catron was especially pleased with Roberts’ performance, as the senior finished with eight pars.
“His round was pretty good,” Catron said. “He had eight pars and one hole he struggled with. I thought that was really good, having eight pars this early in the season. To be able to do that kind of shows me he’s right there where he should be. That was encouraging.”
Carthage will take a break from competition during spring break, but last week in March promises to be a busy one for the Tigers. Carthage will play Joplin and Webb City at Twin Hills Monday, March 26, then at home against Webb City on Tuesday, at Webb City and Joplin on Wednesday and at the Joplin tournament beginning Thursday morning.
“The last few years what I’ve tried to do is get all the matches early, get them real quick,” Catron said. “I’ve said before, I think of the matches kind of like preseason baseball for a major league team. It’s to get them going. Get them in their right mental frame, just to go through what they have to go through. We’re really preparing for tournaments. It’ll be fast, it’ll be busy, but as a golfer you like that every day. We get done with those and get done with that tournament, then the tournaments are kind of spread out so we have practice days in between.”
It’ll be a short boys golf season. The district tournament is slated for April 23.