Whittell golfers to break the ice
By Steve Yingling
Tribune sports editor
No one suffered more from last week’s major snowstorms than the Whittell High School golf team.
You see, the Warriors were all set to open practice at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course – a rare treat in February or March.
Consequently, Whittell has reverted to the backup plan of commuting to the Genoa Lakes Golf Club in Genoa.
“We’ll get two practices in before our first (event),” said Whittell coach Steve Maltase.
Whittell and South Tahoe will open their golf seasons together at the annual Icebreaker tournament today in Genoa. Douglas, Spring Creek, Bishop Manogue and Hawthorne are also entered.
Maltase said he’s never had to make player cuts before the season and with 16 student athletes signed up, that trend should continue. Having coached basketball and soccer at the school, Maltase enjoys not having as much pressure as a golf coach.
“It’s nice to be outside and coaching a sport where kids compete individually and scores indicate playing time instead of coaches’ judgment.”
Within his collection of 16 players is probably another regional championship. Whittell has won five of the past zone championships, and with Kirk Baines and Marty Rahbeck returning for their senior seasons and Tyler Fairbank an experienced junior, the Warriors are perched for another crack at state. Baines tied for seventh at state as a junior and Fairbank and Rahbeck were 20th and 22nd, respectively.
“I think we should be pretty good,” Maltase said. “They have been on varsity all of their careers, so they have a lot experience.
“They all have won a zone championship and they all have been state.”
The state tournament should provide the Warriors with added incentive since it will unfold at the Genoa Lakes Golf Club and Edgewood on May 14-15.
Other Warriors to watch are sophomore Jonathon Szendrey and junior Matt Hurst. Szendrey competed at state last year as a freshman, while Hurst has been a varsity player since his freshman season but missed most of last year due to injury.
WHS chip shots
Coach: Steve Maltase, seventh year
Last year: regional champs, third in state tournament
Key returners: Kirk Baines (Sr.); Marty Rahbeck (Sr.); Tyler Fairbank (Jr.)
Key losses: Cody Harrington, Tim Lipovsky
Opener: Today, Icebreaker in Genoa