Boys golf preview: Plenty of potential for SHS golf crew

Jesse Francis works on his short game.  - Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash
Jesse Francis works on his short game.
— image credit: Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

After a third place finish in 2013, Coach Bill Shea thinks there’s a lot of potential this season for success despite some early season jitters.

The boys had an early season match against Klahowya on March 12 that the Wolves narrowly lost 231-244.

“We had an expectation to have an undefeated season,” Sequim coach Bill Shea said. “A league championship still has potential. Maybe the one defeat will take the pressure off the kids.”

With team tryouts less than a week prior, Shea said things were a bit rushed with many of the players just finishing winter sports.

“There was a little bit of nerves and a lack of practice, but they’ll work through it,” Shea said.

The good news for the 10-man squad is that their top five players are back.

“It’s a strong team with two seniors (Anthony Pinza and Jesse Francis), two juniors (Alex McCracken and Travis Priest) and a sophomore (Jack Shea) on varsity,” he said.

Shea’s son Jack likely takes the No. 1 spot to start the season because he spent the most time working on his game in the offseason.

Francis qualified for districts last season but didn’t make the second-day cut while McCracken qualified as an alternate to districts in 2013. Pinza has three years of varsity experience with the Wolves and Priest led or tied for Sequim’s best score in 2013.

What the experienced players must work on most, Shea said, is mostly mental.

“As players progress, a huge part is to focus, staying in the moment, visualizing shots and managing the course,” he said. “They’ll need to mentally manage themselves better when out the field.”

One factor that will play to Sequim’s advantage is the team will host the Olympic League Championship at The Cedars at Dungeness.

Shea said hopefully the familiarity will play to the Wolves advantage and secure them some districts spots.

As for state chances, Shea said he thinks at least three golfers have a chance to compete at Chambers Bay Golf Course in University Place where the 2015 U.S. Open is being held.

“It’s a big deal for them to play there,” Shea said.

“It’s good motivation for them to get there.”


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