Young Douglas squad ready to tee up
It wasn’t exactly perfect golf weather Thursday afternoon at The Golf Club at Genoa Lakes, but that didn’t seem to matter to the members of the Douglas High varsity and junior varsity golf teams.
And the chilly wind and light rain didn’t bother first-year head coach Brent Eddy, who has barely more than a week to get the Tigers ready for their first tournament.
The Tigers will open the season on Friday in a six-team tournament at Genoa Lakes. Eddy said experiencing some early season success would be a big boost for a young team that has only one senior.
“It’s important to get off on the right foot,” the coach said. “Finding a comfort zone is a big key. If you’re tight and not swinging fluidly, things can really go south in a hurry. I want them to be able to relax out here and have a good time when they’re here.”
The Douglas players finished three days of qualifying rounds on Wednesday. They will get their first tournament test on Friday at a six-team event at Genoa Lakes.
Eddy, 25, teaches alternative education at Douglas High. He has big plans for the Douglas golf program and expects the lessons the Tigers learn to extend beyond the golf course.”
“My goal, as a new coach, is to come in and be a positive influence on these kids,” he said. “I want to try to guide them in the right direction, not only in golf, but in life.”
Tim Davis, who coached the Tigers for the last four years, will serve as the assistant coach this season and will continue to help the Douglas golfers with their swings.
Davis has taken over the junior golf program at Genoa Lakes and said additional responsibilities at the course will limit the amount of time he could devote to the DHS program.
“I’m going to help Brent get through the first season and try to make sure the transition goes smoothly,” Davis said. “It was becoming more and more difficult to give 100 percent, and the kids deserve 100 percent.”
The Tigers will field a relatively young squad this spring.
Sophomore Jonathan Merry, who finished tied for first-place medalist honors last year at the Manteca tournament, will play the No. 1 spot for Douglas on Friday. Merry shot a 39-36-75 during the first round of qualifying at Genoa Lakes.
Jason Reid, the Tigers’ current No. 2 player, fired a round of 76 on the first day of qualifying, and Jason Doering carded a 79. Brian Johnson, who shot an 81, and Blake Hennessy-York are both capable of shooting in the 70s, according to the coach.
“I really think we have a good opportunity to make some noise this year,” Eddy said. “We have some great kids coming out. We’re pretty young, but we have some real good kids.”
The coach plans to stress the importance of competition and intensity in practice rounds. He wants the Tigers to practice as if they are involved in tournament play.
“The thing is consistency,” Eddy said. “You need to play a lot to be a good golfers. We’re going to play a lot of golf. We’re going to try to play nine holes every day and play competitively.
“Hopefully, we can get something out of these kids and make them not only good golfers, but successful young men.”