NEW PALESTINE — A season ago the New Palestine boys golf team seemingly was led by one player, Brady Elliot.
Elliot was the only golfer for the Dragons to advance to last year’s regional at Muncie Central. He shot an 83 just to get there and an impressive 76 at the regional just missing the cutoff for state.
Yet this year should prove to be different and coach Gregg Greene expects to have a lot of low scores instead of just the one.
“I don’t think we’re going to have just one (low scorer), I think there’s going to be several that on any given day be that guy,” Greene stated. “I’m going to have more guys bunch together instead of having one who’s way ahead of everybody.”
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Two key returners for the Dragons off of last year’s sectional team will be juniors Nick Lyons and Blake Barnette. Both golfers were in the four and five spots, respectively, and will be the only golfers with any tournament experience.
However, those aren’t the only players that Greene will be looking to for low scores.
“Well, they’ve (Lyons and Barnette) got the tournament experience so that always helps,” Greene noted. “I’ve got a couple of seniors in Evan Reacher and Duke Blackwell that I think will be able to step in and get low numbers.”
Blackwell is going to be particularly busy this spring sports season, as he is also a member of the New Palestine track team, and Greene mentioned that he’s such a competitor and a great athlete that he could play any sport he wanted to.
Another key returner for the Dragons will be sophomore Elijah Domogala. He served as the alternate a season ago as a freshman, and Greene expects his game to be much improved from last year.
“His game stays pretty even, and he stays pretty much around the fairway,” Greene said. “He doesn’t hit the ball extremely far, but he hits it far enough that he has a decent approach shot. By the end of the season last year he was our next guy in line.”
Though the first match of the year is two weeks away, Greene said he feels like his team is on the right path to scoring very well throughout the season.
“The chemistry’s good, and I think they’re going to be more competitive as a team than last year,” Greene said. “We’ve got more kids that shoot in that mid-40 range, and we’ve got some that will get to that low-40 range.”
The Dragons begin their season on Saturday, April 9 at Yorktown High School. In addition to the Tigers, they’ll also take on Pendleton Heights, Jay County and South Adams.
Team: New Palestine Dragons
Coach: Gregg Greene
Key ;osses: Brady Elliot, Matt Kreutzer, Brody Hunter.
Key returnees: Hunter Jones (12), Patrick Herman (12), Nick Lyons (11), Blake Barnette (11), Elijah Domogala (10)
Newcomers: Duke Blackwell (12), Lucas Swanson (11)
April 9: at Yorktown, 11 a.m.
April 12: vs. Whiteland, 4:30 p.m.
April 14: at Knightstown, 4 p.m.
April 16: at Center Grove, 1 p.m.
April 18: at Triton Central, 4 p.m.
April 19: vs. Franklin Central, 4 p.m.
April 20: vs. Hamilton Southeastern, 4 p.m.
April 26: vs. Morristown, 4 p.m.
April 28: vs. Beech Grove, 4 p.m.
April 30: at Brownsburg, 1 p.m.
May 2: vs. Mt. Vernon, 4 p.m.
May 5: vs. Warren Central, 4 p.m.
May 7: at Batesville, 9 a.m.
May 10: vs. Eastern Hancock at Shenandoah, 4 p.m.
May 11: vs. Shelbyville and Columbus North, 5 p.m.
May 12: vs. Waldron, 4 p.m.
May 14: Hoosier Heritage Conference at Shelbyville, noon
May 16: New Palestine 3-way, 4 p.m.
May 18: at Rushville, 4 p.m.
May 24: vs. Greenwood, 4 p.m.
June 2: Hancock County at Greenfield-Central, 11 a.m.