By Lenny Sementi
A bit of transition won’t slow down Tuscola’s boys and girls golf teams. Head coach Toby Ring stepped down following the fall season after a long stint with the program. Angela Gough and Nolan Woller will share the duties this fall and will be aided by Bill Englehardt as well.
They both have numerous returning players that should make for a competitive season. Woller takes the reins of the Central Illinois Conference’s top team in 2020 welcoming back five of the squad’s top six players. Makenna Fiscus leads the way as a three-year varsity performer. She shined at the CIC meet a year ago taking first place overall, turning in the best 18-hole round of her career at the Moweaqua Country Club.
Zoey Thomason went low as well, ending her day in sixth overall in the nine-school event earning All CIC honors as well. Marley Good was consistently either the number one or number two a year ago and was a near miss at the CIC meet. Addyson Ring was also scorer during the season last fall and should be in the mix to move up the ladder.
New to the team this fall is junior Molly Macaulay, sophomore Isabelle Sturts and freshman Joceylen Ford who got their feet wet last week in a pair of dual meets before playing in the Tuscola Invite. “Makenna and Marley are our top two golfers,” stated coach Woller. “Molly is playing really well right now as well and Addyson Ring is posting good numbers that I think will only get lower as the season goes on. A big goal of mine is for the players to have fun and always have a smile on their face. I think we are progressing really well so far with the handful of matches we have played in.”
Fiscus and Good both shot 51’s this past Thursday at a triangular meet hosted by Meridian earning co-medalist honors. Macaulay was a few strokes back in third, followed by Ring in fourth as the Lady Warriors downed both Meridian and Central A&M.
Coach Gough has six boys on the squad highlighted by senior Landon Banta and sophomore Brayden Gough. Banta is a three-year letter winner while Gough enters just his second year with a letter on his jacket as well. New to the team is a senior Thomas Brown, who is dual-sporting with cross-country. Golf will be Brown’s primary emphasis and has shown some promise in early practices and meets. Christopher Atwater was a JV player a year ago and Jacob Waugh is a freshman as is Kade Wilcox.
“Landon and Brayden are my top two, I can count on them to score well and I look forward to watching them play and improve. They are both good leaders for the team and have done a great job during practices and meets helping out the new players,” stated coach Gough. “Thomas is new to the game, but has worked hard this summer, and has gotten better in that short time. He will be an asset to the team.
Christopher Atwater played at the JV level last year. His game has improved tremendously. He has put in the work, and will get the chance to see new courses this season. He has a great attitude, and I look forward to watching him over the next few years. We are young, but these kids have a lot of potential. They are a great group of kids, I couldn’t ask for a better group to work with.”
They kicked off the season with a pair of meets last week, one in Mahomet at Lake of the Woods Golf Course and the triangular at Meridian on Thursday. Banta was the low man for the Warriors the first night and Gough took the reins the second night with a 42. The duo ended up in third and fourth place overall out of 16 golfers. Banta was just two shots back with a 44 at Meridian as the Warriors fell to A&M but edged the host Hawks out on a scorecard playoff for second.