The Keller High School golf team had a successful season, but it is heading into a transition. After finishing fourth in a tough district, the Indians will lose a lot of seniors across both the boys and girls teams.
“I graduate 14 seniors this year, so it is difficult to predict how we will be,” said head coach Chris Ball. “There are some good young players for both the boys and the girls, and I think we will be pretty good.”
Helping fill the void left by the graduating seniors is sophomore Parker McEachern. As one of the Indians’ top five golfers this season, he tied for a spot at regionals before losing a sudden-death playoff.
“Until someone beats him out, he is the best returning player next year,” Ball said. “He has the skill set to play in college, but how that turns out depends on how hard he works.”
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McEachern has only played competitively for two years, but he comes from a family of golfers.
“My dad brought me up playing with my brother and him like he grew up playing with his two brothers and his dad,” McEachern said. “We always play a Fourth of July scramble every year as a family and it gets pretty competitive.”
The competition and pressures are what draw McEachern closer to the sport.
“I like the challenge part of golf,” he said. “You have to be mentally in it and be able to perform at all times.”
Despite his hard work and dedication individually, McEachern also appreciates the benefits of playing with a team.
“I like the camaraderie,” he said. “I like knowing that even if you play bad, you have someone there to back you up.”
McEachern may be just a sophomore, but his swing is far more advanced.
“His strength is definitely ball striking. He hits the ball very hard,” said Ball. “It just sounds different than the other guys when he hits it. Truthfully, he has PGA Tour-caliber swing speed. He just has to become more consistent with it.”
McEachern agrees, and has already set goals for improving over the summer.
“I hit the ball a long ways and my chipping is pretty good, but I could work on my consistency,” he said. “My goals are to shoot low scores, be on the leader board and be able to compete in the second day of every tournament.”
Ball has high expectations for McEachern for next season and doesn’t doubt that he will work hard to achieve his goals.
“I am hoping he works a lot on his short game over the summer. If he improves that area of his game, he will shoot lower scores when he is on, and still be able to manage a good score when he may not be striking it as well,” Ball said. “The sky’s the limit for him. I have never had someone who hits it that hard. I am really looking forward to next year to see how it turns out. I know the kids are excited and will be working hard this summer.”