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New Bulldogs ready for new season

King’s Fork’s golf team has only two returning players, each with just one season of experience. Normally with that fact, the team’s coach would be concerned a few days before the season starts.

Not so with KF head coach Calvin Mitchell.

First and foremost, especially compared to last year when the Bulldogs were fortunate when they had four golfers for a match, let alone six, the turnout for the first week of practice has been good. Mitchell has 10 players on the team.

“So no more forfeits,” Mitchell said. “More importantly, the kids all have good enthusiasm.” That’s saying quite a bit when most practices, and the matches coming up next week, take place in draining heat and humidity.

“We’ve been out on the course twice. We’re learning to maneuver around the course smartly and we’re learning to play competitive golf. For most of them, it’s their introduction to competitive golf,” Mitchell said.

Among the eight newcomers, most have played plenty of golf before, but there are definite differences between playing a casual round of golf, perhaps with some relaxed scoring and rules, and playing a round where “everything counts, from the first stroke to the last,” Mitchell said.

“You’ve got to have discipline on the course. You’re having to walk instead of ride. We’re trying to learn how it’s different playing as a team, with your partner,” Mitchell said.

Juniors Andrew Womack and Jordan Gist are the two returning players and both of them are lined up to be starters, says Mitchell. Among the additions to the team is one player Mitchell knows will be a major contributor.

Sophomore Adam Peebles, who’s transferred from Portsmouth Christian, is a two-time Metro Conference MVP and has finished as high as fifth place in the Virginia Independent School state tournaments he’s been playing in since his seventh-grade season.

“He’s been playing all summer in a lot of area and VSGA (Virginia State Golf Association) tournaments,” Mitchell said.

The Bulldogs’ home course for most of their practices is Nansemond River Golf Club and they’ll get to start their season their against Lakeland on Monday.