Experience breeds confidence.
That is the mantra for the Colfax-Mingo boys’ golf team this season. The team returns five of the six varsity golfers from last season, and they hope that experience will help them to contend in the tough Heart of Iowa Conference.
Schools such as Prairie City-Monroe and South Hamilton are the perennial favorites in the HOI, but the Tigerhawks boast a lineup of young athletes who are used to playing together.
“We have five out of our six players back, which is very big for us,” coach Kyle Ament said. “Hopefully, we can improve and shave some scores off of our total from where we were last season.”
The low scorer returning for the Tigerhawks is senior Austin Yoakum. Yoakum ran the point a lot for the C-M basketball team, but now he returns to the tee box, hoping to bring down the team scores.
“Austin should shoot in the upper 30s. He has the potential to do that, and it’s something he is capable of,” Ament said. “Right now he’s in the 40s mostly, but I think he’ll get that score lowered quickly.”
The second lowest scorer for the Tigerhawks from last season is returning Sophomore Jimmy Abell. Abell is coming out of wrestling season following a trip to the state tournament in Des Moines. The lack of such rigorous competition will likely be a welcome change for the underclassman.
“I expect Austin and Jimmy to be our top-2 golfers,” Ament said. “Those two guys will need to score low consistently because we have a lot of young golfers, who are good, but their scores might be a little less reliable.”
Junior MaCauley Mosher returns along with senior Colton Russell. Russell and Mosher should be able to keep their scores in the mid-to-upper 40s, allowing the team to, at the very least, have some solid scores to fall back on if nobody else happens to go particularly low that day.
“MaCauley and Colton are not too far behind Austin and Jimmy,” Ament said. “They’ve got the ability, with some work, to push themselves up to that next tier as far as golfers go.”
The last returner for the Tigerhawks is sophomore Brady De Jode. De Jode is coming off an up-and-down freshman season. He will need to put in some short game work to keep his scores down if he hopes to score with the rest of his more seasoned teammates.
There is a ton of new blood on the team as well. The Tigerhawks welcome four incoming freshmen to the squad.
Coach Ament is more than pleased with the turnout this year. The freshmean include MaCauley Mosher’s brother Mason, Garrett Hosspepter, Colin Laurens and Evin Lander.
“We had a small squad last year, and it was difficult when one of the guys would shoot high for us to recover,” Ament said. “I think Mason has a lot of talent. He should score for us this year. If nothing else, this is an encouraging sign for the future.”
As far as dealing with the conference goes, Ament understands what lies ahead, and he has tapered his expectations accordingly.
“I’m confident and hopeful that we’ll be able to contend and compete well,” Ament said. “We know PCM is really good. They’re always a contender to go to state. We really think we can compete alongside Pella Christian and Des Moines Christian. We match up well with both of those teams.”
On the girls’ side, there is only one girl on the C-M team this season — sophomore Olivia Maggard. Maggard’s season starts on April 23 at Roland-Story.