CHILLICOTHE — If Chillicothe’s golf program has anything it can lean on this season, it’s the returners’ experience.
After a fifth-place finish in the Southeastern Ohio Athletic League in 2011 — a league Chillicothe coach Chris Pope said is competitive — the Cavaliers lost only one senior, Tyler Morrissey, from its core group of golfers back this season.
“Our team is heavy on experience, both from the players and the coaches,” Pope said. “I have almost my entire team returning from last year, and being in my third year as a coach, most of these guys have been with me the entire time.”
Continuity should be the strength of this year’s unit, especially from the top. Chillicothe has three seniors — Gabe Preston, Kurtis King and Hannah Litter — to go with Pierce Knisley, Jake Brown and Jacob Price, all juniors. Noah Wright-Piekarski rounds out the team as an improving sophomore.
Preston and Knisley are expected to lead the group, showing “the ability to score in the 70s at any time,” Pope said.
The team has its sights set on improving its place in the SEOAL standings. After that, the team hopes to have at least one golfer playing in the district tournament.
“These kids have been working hard on their individual games,” said Pope, speaking of work done on their own and at the team’s home course of Chillicothe Country Club. “It’s really starting to show, so far.”
Indeed it has.
Chillicothe shot a 374 — good enough for third place in a 13-team field — on Monday at the Huntington Invitational.