With some familiar faces and a new group of freshmen, Sequim’s golf squads are poised to repeat as Olympic League champions and continue Sequim’s rise at state.
Both the boys and girls finished undefeated in the 2016 season but lose two-time Olympic League MVP Jack Shea, who tied for 20th at the state 2A tourney last year.
But Bill Shea, Jack’s dad and the Sequim boys’ coach, said two freshmen, Paul Jacobsen and Andrew Van der Berg, already are filling the gap with Jacobsen shooting No. 1 and Van der Berg No. 3 for the Wolves to start the season.
“Through three rounds of nine holes, Paul shot 3-under-par one round and 4-under-par another,” Shea said. “He sets high expectations for himself.”
Shea added that Van der Berg has a lot of talent, too, along with great length and strength for his swing.
Joining them are sophomore Blake Wiker and junior Josiah Carter shooting No. 2 and No. 4 so far with Wiker an all-Olympic League first team player who tied for 30th at state while Carter made the All-League second team and qualified for districts.
So far, Wiker is shooting about 5-over-par and Carter is nearby.
“(Carter) is capable of playing really well,” Shea said. “I think he can shoot in the low 40s as the season progresses.”
Shea said his varsity squad is rounded out with sophomores Liam Payne and Jarritt Allen whom he said are making progress early on.
Allen, for example, shot a 62 his first nine holes and improved to 44 in his next round.
“A lot of teams have one or two top players and then fades out,” Shea said. “We have good depth. A lot of teams will be surprised.”
Turnout is one of its biggest in Shea’s tenure with 16 boys playing.
“It’s one of the reasons I don’t make cuts because we want to make it a lifelong sport for these kids,” he said.
As a team, Shea said the Wolves hope to win the league title while remaining undefeated in meets, repeat its victory at the Tim Higgins Memorial tournament, their first in 50 years, and take a top five finish at state as a team.
“I think an undefeated season isn’t really a lofty goal, but definitely achievable,” he said.
While the boys see some shuffling in their varsity ranks, the Lady Wolves remain steady with three-time reigning Olympic League MVP Alex McMenamin returning for her senior year.
Girls coach Gary Kettel said McMenamin is starting out the season playing well after changing her swing slightly.
“She’s a little better with control, better putting and chipping and she worked hard on her game all year long,” he said.
McMenamin placed fifth at the state 2A tournament and the Lady Wolves took fourth, its best team finish in school history. She also tied for ninth at state as a sophomore and third as a freshman.
As for her placing high at the tournament, possibly as state champion, Kettel said she has the ability.
“She has put a few rounds together and can shoot low,” he said. “I wouldn’t be surprised.”
Junior Sarah Shea strengthens the squad as Sequim’s No. 2. She tied for 15th at state last year while being placed on the all-league first team. Kettel said Shea’s game is coming along early on, too.
For the team, Kettel said the girls hope to get back to state and bring at least three players.
Junior Samantha Smith is Sequim’s No. 3 so far after playing No. 4 last year.
“She’s always been really solid,” Kettel said. “She’s a good striker and keeps it in play.”
The Lady Wolves’ other three varsity spots remain open, Kettel said, but everyone competes hard.
Depending on weather, the girls open their season today, March 15, and the boys Thursday, March 16, both hosting Bremerton at The Cedars at Dungeness.