One giant leap for Bulldogs

Published 11:18 pm Friday, September 12, 2014

The young and inexperienced King’s Fork High School golf team just created a jolt of momentum for itself on Thursday by achieving a significant milestone.

Four Bulldogs played well enough to have their scores count, allowing the team to record its first score of the season — a 441. It ended up being a losing score compared to Western Branch High School’s 315, but earning the right to be recognized in second place was a real victory for the Bulldogs.

“We played really well, so I was real pleased about that, and they were pleased, they were excited that they were able to post a score,” said King’s Fork coach Calvin Mitchell of his players.

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If players exceed a certain number of strokes on a hole, they are required to pick up their ball and move on to the next hole, disqualifying their score. A team must have four qualifying scorers to post a team score.

Those four qualifying scorers for King’s Fork at the par 72 Sleepy Hole Golf Course on Thursday were senior Will Crow (85), sophomore Noah Rose (92), senior Stephen Shaffer (102) and junior Briana DelaEspriella (162).

“We’ve been working on trying to eliminate mistakes and just improve our swing, and they’re finally getting the swing mechanics together,” Mitchell said.

The score-posting milestone was particularly impressive because the Bulldogs had not played since Aug. 28, and rain prevented some conventional practices during the hiatus.

“I took some of the players, and we worked indoors here at school,” Mitchell said.

When asked if the team was where he hoped it would be at this point in the season, he said, “Almost.”

“We still have a lot of work to do between now and our conference tournament, the 29th of September,” he said.

Some new players joined the team around Sept. 5, but have only had minimal practice to prepare for actual competition.

“They were not ready to play this match yet,” Mitchell said, referring to Thursday’s contest. “So, we’re going to try to work them in the last two matches.”

King’s Fork faces Indian River High School on Monday at Sleepy Hole Golf Course and then Lakeland High School on Wednesday at Bide-A-Wee Golf Course to close the regular season.