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2014 Boys Golf Preview: Greenfield-Central

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Coach: Russ Wiley, fourth season.

Home Course: Hawk’s Tail, Greenfield.

2013: Cougars finished second at Hancock County Meet (172), fourth at Hoosier Heritage Conference Championship (339), second at Greenfield-Central Sectional (342), 16th at Muncie Central Regional (360).

Key Losses: None. The Cougars return their entire 2013 sectional lineup.

Roster: Seniors Adam Casto, Grant Gellert, Max Holtzclaw, Jacob Kauth, Connor Pence; junior CJ Blagburn; sophomores Christian Henderson, Trevor Humphreys, Clayton Long, Gage Mann; freshmen Spencer Baker, Josh Olin.

Outlook: Returning a full lineup from a second-place sectional team, the Cougars have eyes on their first IHSAA title in 17 years. “We really bring back our top seven, and that’s pretty rare,” said G-C coach Russ Wiley, who has been with the program for nine years. “That’s never happened since I’ve been here. I have some pretty high expectations this season, as do the kids.” … The Cougars won nine team sectional championships between 1988 and 1997, but none since. … New Castle won the 2013 sectional at Hawk’s Tail by 26 strokes. “It was really just a fight for second place,” Wiley recalled. “They pretty much ran away with it. I think they’re in the same situation we are, bringing a lot of guys back. So that’s our goal: to try to chase them down.” … G-C is also hoping to break Mt. Vernon’s four-year hold on the Hancock County Meet. MV or New Palestine has won the county title each year since 2002. … G-C senior Adam Casto finished two strokes behind Mt. Vernon’s Austin Alexander last season for the county individual title. … The Cougars’ top four varsity spots appear to be set, with Casto and fellow seniors Jacob Kauth and Connor Pence joined by sophomore Clayton Long. At the 2013 sectional, Long caught fire and shot a 78, only two strokes behind champ Blake Wheeler of New Castle. At the ensuing regional, it was Casto who got hot, carding an eighth-place 75 to advance to the State Finals, where he took a two-day 163, good for 90th. … Sophomores Gage Mann and Trevor Humphreys and seniors Max Holtzclaw and Grant Gellert are among the contenders for the Cougars’ fifth varsity spot. Humphreys joined Casto, Kauth, Pence and Long on the sectional and regional fivesome last season, while Gellert was part of the conference tourney lineup.

First tee: The Cougars opened the season Wednesday at Hawk’s Tail against visiting Eastern Hancock. In a 168-200 win, Casto (37) was medalist, followed by Long (40), Kauth (45) and Pence (46). Greenfield and Whiteland will visit New Palestine Tuesday.

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