The Times-Register

August 25, 2014

Nelson golf getting ready for potentially most challenging year

The program moves up to the largest classification in Texas high-school sports just five years after opening its doors, and with just four returning starters.

The Byron Nelson golf team is living up to its namesake’s reputation in recent years, and if tradition holds, the 2014-2015 season should not be any different.

The Bobcats golf team returns two starters on the boys side and two starters on the girls side this season, and so far, coach Barry Hawkins said things are shaping up pretty well.

“The only thing that has taken place so far is the boy’s qualifier, so the next thing for us is to have tryouts for the first tournament of the year, which is the Bart Granger tournament,” Hawkins said.

“Over the summer, most players have been working on maintaining their games. Many of them have been playing in competitive tournaments throughout the summer. Those players that I have returning who were exempt from tryouts are having to play in these tournaments in order to maintain their level of play.”

Hawkins said that the team will have to lean heavily on the four returning starting players from last year’s squad, which include Johnny Jones, Hayden Springer, Alexandra Batista and Sabrina Stedman.

“We don’t have a whole heck of a lot of experience behind us,” Hawkins said. “We have players who are capable but they lack that experience, which is why we are going to rely so heavily on our veterans.”

Hawkins said the objective for this season is to continue on with what has already taken place at Nelson so far.

“Collectively, we feel like we’ve done a good job of establishing ourselves in short time that we have been open, which is five years,” Hawkins said. “We’ve come into it hoping to build something respectable, which I feel like we’ve done. Now we have to maintain that.

“Now, jumping up in classification, this is probably going to be our most challenging year so far. So we just have to keep doing what we are doing.”

Hawkins said he is not even so much concerned about the lack of experience, but just a lack of experience playing that level of competition, and said the goal for this season is to overcome that.

“It’s not that they lack experience playing in golf tournaments,” Hawkins said. “It’s that they lack experience playing in big golf tournaments, which we are certainly going to be in this season.”

The Nelson boys open their season on Sept. 19-20 with the Bart Granger Tournament and the girls open with a one-day competition at Robson Ranch on Sept. 22.

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