The six golf teams that make up the KLAA West division are some of toughest in the state, according to coach Nathan Oake who calls his division a “hotbed for high school golf.”
“I think the whole KLAA West is tough, to be honest,” Oake said. “That’s six good golf teams with the addition of Grand Blanc two years ago. There’s times we’ve gone through our season with 4 of those 6 teams ranked in the top ten of the state of Michigan.”
With such a competitive division, the eight-year coach and his twelve varsity players know not to take any team lightly and stay focused throughout their season as they look to accomplish their season goals.
“We don’t look past anybody, ever,” Oake said. “We have to take it one day at a time and play great in our post season.”
With the season opening this Wednesday at , the varsity team is looking to take its first win against Howell, an important first match, according to sophomore Austin Rivet.
“It’s a match we need to win,” Rivet said. “It’s important.”
“It’s home turf,” added senior Derek Andreen. “First match- sets the tone.”
With Andreen as the lone senior on the 12-man varsity squad, Oake says that his team may be young, but has some experience which will help as the season progresses.
“We have a little bit more experience under our belts,” he said. “So hopefully we can reach a little bit higher than we did last year. That’s always a perpetual goal.”
Ending third in the conference last season, the 2012 team has reaching states as one of its season goals and for some of the Hartland golfers, they say working together and supporting their teammates on the course will help them reach those goals.
“Keep each other calm and have confidence in your teammates,” Andreen said as some of their keys for success.
Playing the mental as well as the physical game of golf is also what Oake tries to coach his young players about as well.
“The biggest principal I try to teach is to I try to stay emotionally steady,” Oake said. “Try to not get too high or too low. …That has a lot to do with how teenagers score in a golf setting. Sometimes it becomes more of a mental challenge than a physical challenge, so try and stay emotionally steady and don’t ever give up.”
2012 Hartland Golf Team includes:
- Nick McArthur
- Baker Stevenson
- Chris McRae
- Chris McAllister
- Mickey Feeny
- Sean Huck
- Bryce Messner
- Adam Firavich
- Beau Breault
- Travis Loruss
- Travis Cole
- Trevor Sudbay
- John Nagel
- Josh Kemp
- Grant Klopfenstein
- Austin Rivet
- Derek Andreen
Coached by Nathan Oake, Tom Stark and Dan Aldred