Jim Jeffries had a tough job early in his first year as Grand Island Senior High boys golf coach.
The Islanders had 22 boys go out for golf. Jeffries had to cut that down to 12 on Wednesday night even though it’s been tough to get outside to practice.
Tuesday was Grand Island’s first outdoor practice. Before that, the Islanders were practicing in the balcony of the east gym.
“We got the net out,” Jeffries said. “Three at a time can hit into the net. With 22 kids out, it’s along hour and a half.”
The Islanders some experience from last year. Senior Jeff Allen and sophomore Nick Nabower were both state qualifiers while senior Dylan Holloway also saw considerable varsity play.
“In the top five, three are probably solid and the next two we’ll probably do a lot of switching back and forth,” Jeffries said.
Jeffries said exchange student Jacob Klintberg looks pretty strong and could be in the top five.
“We have a lot of young kids with a lot of potential,” Jeffries said. “I think it’s going to come down to the older kids are going to have to rise to the top and carry the weight for awhile.”
Other returning lettermen are junior Tristan Smith, senior Taylor Goshorn and sophomores Jay Jeffries, Joe Bamesberger, Tanner Shuck, Zeb Elsbernd and Walker Roscoe.
“It will be pretty competitive in the top five or six kids,” Jeffries said. “There will not be a lot of strokes separating No. 1 and No. 5.
“That’s kind of good, but you also wish four kids shot lights out every time. It’s a learning experience for most of them.”
The Islanders open the season with a dual against Hastings on Friday at Lochland Country Club.
“Hastings is going to be awfully good,” Jeffries said. “We’ll have our work cut out for us. I would like to see the kids compete and throw out some nice scores. They probably won’t throw out anything that will be world beaters, but I’ll be satisfied if we have kids in the low 40s or high 30s. That would be very respectable.”
G.I. Boys Golf Schedule
March — 15, dual at Hastings; 22, North Platte Invitational; 28, Grand Island Invitational.
April — 2, Triangular; 11, Hastings Invitational; 25, Creighton Prep Invitational; 16, Lincoln SW Invitational; 19, Fremont Invitational; 29, at York.
May — 2, HAC at Lincoln; 6, Grand Island Cup; 7, Tri-City Invitational at Jackrabbit Run; 9, Norfolk Invitational; 14, District at Riverside.