The Legacy golf team is coming off of a phenomenally strong season in which it qualified for the state tournament, and coach Christopher Word said his team is poised to have another strong season in 2014.
Legacy finished eighth overall in the state among Class 4A boys golf programs last season, and based on the results of the first practice this year, not much has changed.
“We had our first practice today, and our best four scores totaled 296,” Word said last Wednesday. “So we've got another strong squad. We have a good mix of younger players that played hard over the summer and good senior leadership. We have three returning players, so I am really exciting.”
Word said that his players have stayed active this off season, competing in a variety of tournaments and making sure that the rust never really settles in.
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“During the summer, they are mostly playing in tournaments,” Word said. “It is not so much about doing things specific to their games as it is gaining the experience of playing in tournaments. I would say that the most important thing that they can do is play competitive rounds.”
Word said he is having a couple of his golfers off to pretty strong seasons in 2014.
“I expect for Russell Schuljak, Austin Rhodes and Justin Kimbrough to be slotted in the one, two and three spots,” Word said. “Those are all returners from last year. Justin did not play on the state team, but he is a very talented young man, and he'll definitely be a big part of what we do.”
Word said the objectives for the season are three-fold for the Legacy boys golf team.
“This year, we feel like we can get two teams to the regional competition,” Word said. “Another one of our goals this year is to win our region. We feel that with Highland Park vacating region II, we are probably the favorites coming in, so we want to live up to billing.
“Then, once you get to state, everybody is so good, that even if you play great, someone might play amazing and beat you. So once you go down there, the goal is to take the experience of the previous year and build on it.”
Word said that the only way that his team was affected by realignment was that the always-game Lufkin boys golf program has moved into their region.
In order to repeat upon the type of success the team enjoyed last season, Word said that it will take a couple of things from his team.
“It will take high character kids with great integrity and work ethic,” Word said. “If you can put the right kind of kids together, those that are intrinsically motivated, those are the kinds of kids you are going to have success with.
“You almost can't even stop them from being successful, and that's what we have this year. We have a lot of kids that work hard whether I tell them to or not. That is usually the make up of a champion.”