As freshmen, Drew Barrett and Matt Sheridan took turns playing the No. 5 spot in the Richmond High School boys golf team’s lineup.
Last fall, they learned what it was like to take on a leadership role as they led the boys soccer team as seniors.
Now, their last varsity season is right around the corner and the pair is excited to lead a balanced RHS golf team that opens the season Saturday with the Bo Van Pelt Invitational at Highland Lake.
“I kind of like it,” Barrett said. “Now it’s our chance to shine, just to show people that Matt and I are some really good golfers, we can win some tournaments, shoot some low scores.”
Head coach Ron Murphy said Sheridan will be the No. 1 golfer in the Red Devils’ lineup.
Barrett is No. 2, but little separates the two.
“Matt Sheridan’s going to be No. 1, Drew Barrett’s going to be No. 2, but the whole years we’ve been in high school, they’re probably two shots difference,” Murphy said. “Every year. They’re just about the same, so who knows. It depends on what day it is.”
Sheridan will take over the slot of graduated Evan Stoker, now a freshman playing for University of Indianapolis.
Ross Harrington is also a senior who Murphy said was home schooled and should take the No. 3 slot, while freshman Jarrett Focht is expected to fill in at No. 4. Junior Geno Pieroni and sophomore Evan Williams are expected to share time at No. 5.
Nine golfers are out, but Murphy said those six will be the main varsity players.
“Five guys make the team,” Murphy said. “Right now, our threes and fours, our fours and fives, they’re better.”
Sheridan shot a career-low 69 last year to earn sectional medalist honors and lead Richmond to the team sectional title over a favored Connersville last spring.
“I think it’s going to be interesting,” Sheridan said. “I realized it playing soccer and I’m going to realize it again on the golf course that there’s people looking up to me now and I’ve got to step up and be what the seniors in the past were to me.”
Murphy points to the Spartans once again as a team to watch come sectional time.
The Red Devils shot 302 to win the sectional title last year, while Connersville was second with 310.
“Connersville didn’t lose anybody. They’re going to be really good,” Murphy said. “But, we’ll be good about the sectional or the regional, we’ll be good there. NCC (North Central Conference), I don’t know, we got third last year and hopefully we can win it this year, but who knows.”
The Red Devils have 32 sectional titles, most in the state, and host this year’s tournament at Forest Hills, according to Murphy.
“That’s a big deal,” Murphy said. “We have to play out there a lot, because the greens are really weird and really fast.”
The Red Devils open the season Saturday with the Bo Van Pelt Invitational at Highland Lake, then move to Forest Hills the following Saturday for the Justin Cross Invitational. Their first dual is April 21 at Connersville.
Richmond has just four home matches scheduled, with Monroe Central visiting Highland Lake on May 7, Centerville traveling to Forest Hills on May 21, Greenfield-Central visiting Richmond at a course to be determined June 4 and a tri-match featuring Yorktown and Muncie Central is scheduled for June 5.
Richmond will travel to area foe Union County for a dual match (April 23) and has invitationals scheduled at Noblesville (April 26), Winchester (May 3), Delaware County (May 10) and Muncie Central (May 24), while the NCC tournament is May 14 at the Legends Golf Course in Franklin.
A quad-match is scheduled April 29 against Monroe Central, New Castle and Anderson and the Red Devils will travel to Franklin County for a tri-match also featuring Rushville.
“I’m excited to get out there and play,” Sheridan said. “Hopefully we can get an NCC win and a sectional win this year.”