COLFAX — With six players returning that have seen varsity time, Colfax-Mingo boys golf coach Terry Fox looks for his team to have a very successful season.
The Tigerhawks ended up in second place within the Heart of Iowa Small School Division, and Fox thinks his team should be the clear-cut favorite to win it this season.
“Even though we didn’t play real well in the conference tournament, we tied for the conference championship (with South Hamilton) and got beat by the fifth score,” Fox said. “I would think we would be competitive in the conference and hopefully be able to get out of the sectional and get to the district meet.”
And with six varsity players returning, it seems to be a goal that is very achievable. Colfax-Mingo returns Dylan Berkey, Connor Parker, Mitch Tomlonovic, Nick Bowman, Chase Russell and James Shelley from last year’s team.
Tomlonovic was second in the conference last year, while Russell was fifth and Parker took sixth.
“They are experienced,” Fox said. “Four of them have been playing since they were freshmen. All of them have shot in the 30s before. They could easily do that again.”
The only graduated player from last season is Alex Russell.
This season, Fox wants to see consistency with his team. That’s been a struggle in the past.
“One kid will play real good one day and horrible the next day,” Fox said. “They can all shoot good numbers. It’s getting it together is what they need to do.”
Even with all the experience returning, Fox said there are some younger players that might get into a varsity spot — Jake Alexander, Brian Clymer, Colton Russell and Austin Yoakum.
“We have a bunch of young kids out there that have been playing a lot,” Fox said. “I have some freshmen that have a chance to play varsity. They may be pushing some of the kids to play varsity.”
Looking ahead to the season, Fox expects the usual culprits to be competitive again.
“PCM will be good again, and Gilbert will be good again,” Fox said. “Roland-Story will be good in the conference. They beat out Gilbert to go to state last year. We have a chance to be very competitive in most of the meets we play in.”
Colfax-Mingo opens up the season Monday at the Bondurant-Farrar Invite. The Tigerhawks have just three home dates for the season — May 4 against Colo-Nesco, the Colfax-Mingo Invite on May 8 and a home match against Pleasantville on May 10.
The conference meet is May 3 at Honey Creek Golf Course near Boone, while sectionals will be May 14 at 5x80 Golf and Country Club near Menlo. Teams involved in that sectional are Central Decatur, Clarke, Interstate 35, North Polk, Panorama, Pleasantville and West Central Valley.
“I don’t know too much about many of those teams,” Fox said. “I think we’ll be real competitive with those teams. We’ll find out when the sectional tournament comes around.”
The district meet is May 21 at the Carroll Country Club, while the state meet is May 28-29 at Lake Panorama National Golf Course in Panora.
For his team to have a chance at doing well in the postseason, Fox knows his team needs to see continual improvement.
“All those six kids playing varsity have to make the move from playing in the low 40s and high 30s to pushing more toward par,” Fox said. If one or two of them falter, the other four have to play well. At this point, I’m not sure they can be real consistent, but later in the year, I hope they can be.”