The Wildcats have turned into a regional contender under former coach John Mark Vinson but have fallen just a few shots short of qualifying for the state meet.
New coach Darrett Brinker is hoping the experience returning will be enough for the school to make their first-ever trip to the state golf meet.
Brinker, an All-Mid-American Conference First Team golfer at Ball State University, was named the new golf coach last month. His family has leased Arrowhead Golf Club in Cadiz, with Brinker in charge of the daily operation of the course.
After getting the course into playing shape, he is hoping that getting the TCHS golf team ready for the new season won’t be as daunting of a task.
“The (team) seem fresh and ready to go. Several of the players had a busy summer schedule, but they seem ready to go,” Brinker said.
He inherits a Wildcat golf team that returns five of their top six golfers from last year’s squad that finished fifth at the region meet.
But the Wildcats had higher hopes after not losing a dual match until the final week of the season and finishing second at two major invitationals during the season.
Senior Curtis Mitchell returns after posting Trigg’s second-lowest score at the region meet last year.
Mitchell and his brother Tyler, a sophomore, had a busy summer, playing in several events in the region as they have in past years.
Junior Taylor Lowary played his way into the top five last year and shot an 82 at the region meet.
Jordan McNichols is the lone senior on the squad and had the lowest scoring average last year.
“I think this team is very capable of making it to state,” Brinker said. “We’re hoping to develop their skills with the narrow fairways here at Arrowhead and hope this course can challenge them to be ready for other courses they play,” Brinker said.
Brinker said some of the younger golfers are making a push to be Trigg’s fifth and sixth golfers.
He said that competition is between sophomore Jordan Bostick, juniors, Sam Nunnery and Matt Moser, freshman Shawn Sizemore, and seventh grader Eric Rogers.
A female transfer from Marshall County will also get a chance to compete with the boys’ team.
Brinker said sophomore Lexie Estes will compete with the Wildcats in some events this year, but will try and qualify for the state meet in the girls’ tournament.
“She has held her head high so far. We want to mix up her schedule during the season and see how she ranks against some of the other girls in the region,” Brinker said.
In addition to Estes, freshman Dori Sheehan will also compete in some matches and try her hand at qualifying for the state meet.
“They are still in the developmental stages, and we’re working with them on the range and the greens to get them prepared for match play,” Brinker said.
Brinker has Trigg County entered in five 18-hole matches around the state in hopes of showing off the talents of the Wildcat players.
“That (exposure) is very important,” Brinker said. “The invitationals are where you gain points for the All-State teams, and we want to get these guys recognized by college coaches and other coaches in the state.”
Brinker said the golf team will practice and likely play their home matches at Arrowhead.
“I love teaching and want the kids to have fun, but you have to put some work into it,” he said. “We want to play at a high level and show the desire to play.”