Golf team looks forward to future despite record

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Brigette Richard, Business Manager

After Coach Thomas Hickey announced his retirement for the end of the 21-22 school year, the golf team was left looking for a new coach. Seventh grade geography teacher Mr. Jim Culler had stepped up to take on the position. The current golf team consists of one junior, Logan Bickerstaff, and five freshmen, Michael Bugay, Bryson Deal, Artie Evans, Richie Horgos and Zach Kuntz. 

Culler has previously coached golf at The First Tee program in Beaver Falls for the past four years, so coaching varsity golf is a new change for him. Culler’s biggest current focuses are learning the game together and having fun. Since five out of the six members and the coach are new to varsity golf, they all worked together to learn something new and help each other out along the way.

“We are a very young team and we are learning a lot. Logan Bickerstaff is our only returning player to the team this season. But, we have won a match against Lincoln Park this year, so we are showing improvement. I try to keep our focus on learning the game and having fun,” Culler said. 

With the team consisting of mostly freshmen, they have all been learning the sport together, working hard and preparing for the season. The team finished their season with a record of 1-12, but they hope to  continue their hard work and improve for next season. With one win against Lincoln Park, earning a close score of 287-299, the team looks back and reflects on that game to improve.

The players have been really patient with me and very understanding when I have had to say,  ‘I don’t know, but I will find out.’ We will continue to learn and have a little fun along the way,” Culler said. 

Culler uses different strategies based on things he has learned from Hickey, other school’s coaches and different techniques used with his First Tee program. Being patient is an important aspect of playing a sport with new players and a new coach. Culler’s key to the game is having fun, win or lose. 

Bickerstaff has been a key player to this year’s team, being the only returning player. He has been on the team for the past three years, and continued to play the sport even with new changes and adjustments. Bickerstaff has helped lead the team this season and help out with the new players.

On Sept. 14, the team played in the Midwestern Athletic Conference (MAC) Tournament. With the finish to their season, they plan to continue to work hard, and persevere through the losses they had throughout. The team hopes to continue to have fun and work together, and are looking forward to next year’s season.