Washington County's new high school golf season begins March 29 when the Arlington Eagles play Stone Creek Golf Course against their hosts from Omaha Concordia.
Fort Calhoun then opens March 30 at Tekamah's Northridge Country Club before Blair hosts Logan View on April 4 at River Wilds Golf Club.
Two coaches — BHS' Ross Udey and Dustin Humphrey of FCHS — have many seasons leading their programs behind them, while the Eagles' Landon Walkenhorst makes his debut this spring. The new coach is the last AHS golfer to reach the boys state tournament, doing it in 2018 before a college career at Concordia University in Seward.
Easton Chaffee, meanwhile, is Blair's most recent boys state qualifier. The senior took eighth during last season's Class B District 2 Tournament in Wayne with 82 strokes before claiming 30th at state with 169 across 36 holes.
“There is definitely room for improvement when I make it next year,” the Bear said shortly after his state debut at Scotts Bluff Country Club in western Nebraska.
In addition to Chaffee, Udey's BHS squad also returns district competitors Connor Wayman and Landen Oppliger. They carded a 97 and a 102 at Wayne last May, respectively.
Tyler Lantry and Rylan Blattert return as Blair letter winners, too.
In Arlington, Eddie Rosenthal is Walkenhorst's top returning golfer. He shot an 18-hole 92 during the Class C District 2 Tournament at Fremont Golf Club last spring.
The lead Eagle, however, took just 78 shots on the same course — AHS' home course — weeks earlier.
AHS' Jacob Meehan, Josh Hamre and Stokely Lewis also competed at districts in 2022, finishing with 99, 101 and 131 strokes, respectively. Their coach believes Oliver Ladehoff and Schuyler Logemann could contribute to the varsity lineup this season, too.
For Humphrey, Owen Miller and Dylan Boldt return to the varsity lineup. The Fort Calhoun golfers took 105 and 108 swings at the B-2 District Tournament in Wayne last spring, too.
Prior to the start of practice, the Pioneers' coach wrote that he hopes to get his lineup to shoot under 400 strokes at tournaments this spring. It'll take mental toughness and patience to get there, Humphrey noted within his preseason summary.
Walkenhorst, meanwhile, has an initial goal of 370 swings for his team. He doesn't want to limit the Eagles to that, though, stating that they can lower their scores with hard work throughout the season.
In Blair, Udey isn't ruling out a state qualification for his Bears at the end of their campaign. He's hoping for 340 strokes or lower this season as Chaffee and company work toward their next district tournament.
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