COLFAX — With five full-time starters back from last season, Colfax-Mingo’s boys golf team looks to take the next step when the Tigerhawks start the season April 8 at Bondurant-Farrar.
Colfax-Mingo returns Dylan Berkey, Connor Parker, Mitch Tomlonovic, Chase Russell and James Shelley, with the team graduating just one player — Nick Bowman.
“The players have set their own expectations,” Colfax-Mingo co-coach Kyle Ament said. “They know where they want to be, how they did last year and want to take it to the next level. They are really wanting to push past sectionals and make a good solid run into districts. After that, we’ll see what happens.”
Ament, along with Tony Hodgson, are in their first year as co-coaching the Tigerhawks.
They are both replacing Terry Fox, who retired in the offseason. Fox has been a long-time coach at Colfax-Mingo.
Hodgson coached Colfax-Mingo wrestling from 1989 to 1996. He wanted to be involved again.
For Ament, it was that similar love for golf. He’s played since he was 8 years old, including playing at Cedar Rapids Kennedy and Kirkwood Community College.
Both coaches are walking into a good situation.
After the first week of practice, Ament said the team got a lot accomplished.
“The first week of practice we were doing drills, short game — a lot of focus on that,” he said. “That’s one thing I hope to impress on these kids — practice.”
The five returning starters helped lead Colfax-Mingo to second place in the Heart of Iowa Small School Division last season, something the team wants to build on this year. South Hamilton won the conference title.
“The boys seem to be looking pretty good at this time,” Hodgson said. “They’ve been trying to get out as much as they can. It’s wide open for them this year. They have a good opportunity to do really well this year.”
That leaves one varsity spot open this season. Senior Brian Clymer, junior Henry Bowman, sophomores Austin Yoakum, Colton Russell, Jake Alexander and Michael Brown and freshman McCauley Mosher will be in the mix for that final spot.
“If we can get some of those younger guys cutting a few strokes off, that would fill in the void for varsity,” Ament said. “There are some pretty solid underclassmen. We’ll need some of them to step up and score.
“If that happens, we’ll be pretty good.”