Number ones return to the links

By Lenny Sementi
Tuscola’s girls’ golf team won’t be able to score in team events due to a shortage of players, and the boys’ squad is nine strong but does not boast a senior.

However, Coach Doug Bauer is not worried.

The second-year leader of the Warriors returns his top boys from a year ago in Mathew Erickson and three of his top four girls including number two Claire Ring.

Joining Ring on the girls’ team will be fellow senior Whitney Root and junior Laney Banta. All three scored for the Warriors a year ago and helped them to advance to the IHSA postseason second round and a second place effort in the Central Illinois Conference Tournament. Ring collected medalist honors more than a few times and was an All-CIC honoree. The fourth-year golfer has posted an 89 in a practice round and, if she can be consistent, will vie for a spot in the state tournament in October.

Erickson who was the Warriors’ number one on the boys’ side as freshman a year ago is showing little rust. The sophomore was injured in baseball and missed some of the summer, but he’s made up for lost time putting in a lot of time on the range in the last month. Tyler Bialeschki is another second-year player that will be strong for coach Bauer. Joining them will be classmates Cory Dunn and Mathew Bennett as well as freshmen Jayden Gaines, Landon Banta, and Braden Boyer.

The elder statesman on the squad will be juniors Brody Good and Coulson Poffenberger. Poffenberger posted the low score for Tuscola in a few meets last season and will be looking to challenge for one of the top two spots this fall.

“I anticipate all three girls playing very well,” commented the coach. “And, although we just started practice, I feel very confident in both Matt and Tyler on the boys’ side. Both Matthew, for the boys, and Claire I feel have the ability to play at high levels this season. It’s our goal to advance to the sectionals and compete for the CIC title.”

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