Veteran golf coach Frank Ackerman welcomes a roster of 12 players at Newcomerstown High for a new season on the links.
Ackerman, who enters his third season leading the Trojan golf program and 17th overall coaching high school with stints at both Ridgewood and Coshocton, likes the numbers he has to work with this season.
"We have some good numbers," Ackerman offered. "It's just we are very young and inexperienced with having 10 sophomores on the team.
"We lost four of our top five players to graduation," Ackerman stated. "We will be in sort of a rebuilding stage, but it's nice to have those kind of numbers that will get some valuable experience."
Last season, the Trojans finished with a 6-11 mark in dual matches and were 23-77 overall.
With the added numbers, Ackerman will also get some help on the coaching staff with Chuck Eicholtz coming on board as an assistant coach for the Trojans.
"Having Chuck on the staff will be a huge advantage for us," Ackerman explained. "He will be a great asset in being able to work with the younger kids especially. I'm very happy we have him with us this year."
Leading the way for the Trojans' young squad will be the return of four lettermen in senior Tance Brandon, junior Bailey Guy and sophomores Rylan Popadak and Thurman Gibson.
"Our four lettermen will be the core of our team for sure," Ackerman said. "Right now, it looks like Rylan will open as our number one man. He's a stroke or two ahead of the rest who are all battling to grab that number two spot.
"That could change as the four of them are all good golfers," Ackerman said. "That competition should help them each push each other and should make them all better in the end."
Newcomerstown also returns several players from the junior varsity squad last year who could contribute this year in sophomores Levi Kilpatrick, Jacob Kennedy, Laden Shepherd, Chase Arnold, Austin Gano and Austin McMullen.
Newcomers to the team are sophomores Lyssa Canales and Kayla Gibson along with freshman Brandon Cutshall.
"We will work hard and try to improve each and every week," Ackerman said. "I'm happy with the work ethic they have displayed thus far and feel we could make some real progress this year."
Newcomerstown will once gain us Hickory Flats Golf Course as its home course.