Royals look to grow girls golf roster

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CHARLOTTESVILLE — They are small, but willing to grow.

Eastern Hancock is looking for growth in its game and its lineup.

The Royals girls golf program will start the season with just three players. You need four to have a team score and five for a complete lineup.

“It’d be nice if we could add someone else,” third-year head coach Dustin Eck said. “We’d like to fill out the roster, but if not, we will go with the three that we have.”

Eastern Hancock graduated its No. 1 player from last season, Shelby Jackson. Inez Friddle, who played the No. 2 or No. 3 position was also a member of the Class of 2022.

Eck currently has two returnees and one newcomer.

Sophomore Abby Bolding shared the No. 2 and No. 3 spots with Friddle in 2021. Junior Emily Grant was the No. 4 player last year.

“They improved last year and they continued to improve over the summer,” Eck said of Bolding and Grant. “Our biggest goals are to continue to improve, increase our knowledge of the game and skills.”

A newcomer to the team is freshman Lyla Hancock.

Eck said the numbers may be small, but the players approach to the game has been huge.

“Their attitudes are great. They are focusing more, individually, getting better,” he said. “They come and they work hard and that’s really what we want. I don’t just want (a player who can fill our lineup). I want the girls that are there trying to get better and build some competitiveness. I think the three I have are definitely going to be that.”

Eastern Hancock finished 7-8 in dual meets last season. The Royals placed fourth at the Hancock County meet, seventh in the Mid-Eastern Conference Championships and fifth at the New Palestine Sectional, held at Hawk’s Tail Golf Course in Greenfield.

The Royals begin their season Thursday at Wapahani. They play home matches at Royal Hylands Golf Club in Knighstown. The first home course contest is slated for Tuesday, Aug. 9, against North Decatur.

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