Every night as the sun is going down, Trampas Wilson patrols the Walnut Creek golf course for an important reason.
He's not looking for prowlers or vagrants, but rather for what has come to be known at Mansfield High School as the “last man standing.”
“I'm up here late, and I like to see who the last guy on the driving range or the chipping green actually is,” Wilson said. “I'll holler at whoever it is, and it's something we've done for quite some time. It's a little pride competition. Our big deal is if you get out-worked, I don't want to hear you complaining. Work doesn't take much. You just have to go up there and get after it.”
The Mansfield boys golf coach said that he has had his players focus on doing a couple of things this off season to try to make another run at the state tournament next year.
“They are playing a lot tournaments,” Wilson said. “I always tell them that as many tournaments as their parents allow them to play, make sure you play that many. If they tell them they can play four or 12, they need to play as many as they can. I like for them to get off of Walnut Creek and play somewhere different.”
Wilson said that he has players competing in tournaments nearly every single day and said that it is also important to stay in shape for the coming seasons.
“They all know that they need to be doing a little fitness to keep their legs under them,” Wilson said. “And they are up here practicing.”
Wilson said that he is pretty pleased with how things turned out for his team this past season as well.
“To start the year, we were probably top 10 in the state,” Wilson said. “Our fall was great, and then one of our guys got hurt and was out from October to March. He was our second-best player. That set us back, and then [with] all of the weather, we missed 18 days of practice.
“For the most part, I felt we played great in the fall. Did not have a great spring, but we came on in the end ... we finished ranked fifth in the state and sixth at the state tournament, and that's not a bad deal.”
Mansfield returns several returns 16 out of 20 players returning this season, including Wilson’s one, two and four, as well as the team's state alternate.
Zach Howe was the number two player Mansfield was without last season, and Wilson said he also expects strong seasons from Collin Clark, Landon Ernst, Peyton Coursey, Luke Davidson and Mason Rupp.
“They are the core of the team, but it would not surprise me if someone else stepped up, because it seems like every year that I've been here, some other kid has emerged from the pack that no one expected, because he kind of had a chip on his shoulder,” Wilson said. “It makes it fun.”