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2014 Boys Golf Preview: Mt. Vernon

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Coach: Caleb Zelencik, fifth season.

Home Course: Arrowhead, Greenfield.

2013: Marauders won Hancock County Meet (166), finished sixth at Hoosier Heritage Conference Championship (351), third at Greenfield-Central Sectional (343), 13th at Muncie Central Regional (351).

Key Losses: 2013 graduate Chase Wagner tied for second overall at the county meet (40), posted the team’s fourth-best score at the HHC (94), third-best score at the sectional (87) and second-best score at the regional (87). Junior Drew Weir, who was also consistently among MV’s top five last year, has elected not to play golf this season.

Roster: Senior Austin Alexander; juniors Jack Harker, Jake Yurack; sophomores Julian Davidson, Jacob Ault, Adam Shanahan; freshmen Oliver Mast, Drew Richter, Will Dant.

Outlook: Mt. Vernon is a four-time defending county team champ, but the loss of Chase Wagner and Drew Weir leaves the lineup with a few holes that must be filled, especially with rivals Greenfield-Central and New Palestine returning their entire 2013 contingents. “They’re loaded,” MV coach Caleb Zelencik said of the Cougars and Dragons, who are also in MV’s sectional. “They’re probably the (county) favorites.” … Two-time defending individual county champ Austin Alexander leads a unit that will rely in part on a pair of talented freshmen. Alexander, a senior, and Jacob Ault, a sophomore, were full-time varsity a year ago. They’ll be joined on the links this season by ninth-graders Oliver Mast and Will Dant. “Oliver had a very successful middle school career,” Zelencik said. “He is the type of kid who eats, lives and breaths golf, and Will is right there with him. Those two will definitely contend for top-five spots.” … Junior Jack Harker, who was part of the Marauders’ sectional lineup, and sophomores Julian Davidson and Adam Shanahan are also competing in the varsity mix. …The Marauders have advanced to the team regional three of the last five seasons (2013, 2010, 2009). They finished fourth – one place shy of regional qualification – in 2011 and 2012. New Castle blistered the sectional field last year with a 316. Greenfield-Central (342), MV (343), Shelbyville (345) and New Palestine (361) rounded out the top five. Just as G-C and the Dragons return a wealth of talent, New Castle and Shelbyville each have four of their top five golfers back in the fold. “Everybody’s going to be good,” Zelencik said. “We’ve got our work cut out for us, that’s for sure. But I’m really excited about this group. They’re very hard working young men, and I know they’ll do everything they can to be ready by time sectional rolls around.”

First tee: The Marauders open the season Wednesday at Lapel.

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