Entering a new season on the links, the Newcomerstown High golf team will be dealing with a real lack of depth along with very little experience this season.
The Trojans squad will be comprised of just five members, with three sophomores and a pair of freshman for veteran golf coach Mark Wolff who enters his 10th season at the helm.
"We're not very deep with just five players we are very, very young this year," Wolff said. "We have three rookies who haven't played a lot of golf. They are all new to the game and have a lot to learn. And in golf, its not something you can pick up over night. It's going to take some time and hard work on their parts."
The Trojans return a pair of sophomore lettermen in Jared Brooks and Zach Gibson from last year's 2-10 team, which finished 0-7 in Inter-Valley Conference play.
"I'm counting on our two lettermen to come in playing good golf for us," Wolff. "We really need them to show some improvement from last year, while our three rookies sort of get their feet wet."
In the early stages of the year, Brooks holds a slight edge in the battle for the number one man to replace last year's top man for NHS in Boss Gibson who was lost to graduation, who carded a 42.3 average a year ago.
"Jared came in last year having played some golf, but was on the small size," Wolff said. "This year, he's grew two or three inches and is hitting the ball better...getting some distance. He probably has the slight edge over Zach for the number one man right now."
"Zach has put a lot of time in over the summer working on his game," Wolff said. "He too has grown some physically, and he is a very competitive kid and I know will work real hard to improve his game from last season."
Newcomers to the Trojans golf team are freshmen Lincoln Shaw, Tance Brandon and Codi Rothacher.
In sizing up the race in the IVC for the golf title, Wolff gives an early nod to Garaway.
"You can't count out Garaway, they always seem to be strong," Wolff said, "and I hear they have a freshman who is supposed to be a good golfer. Then you have Ridgewood who returns Tyler Davis, and Malvern should be decent also this year.
"With us not having much depth or experience it's going to be tough each night out in the IVC," Wolff said. "Our goal is by the end of the year to be playing some respectable golf."