The Fort Dodge boys golf team will feature several new faces this year.
Graduation has taken away several seniors, including Colin Pearson, who placed fifth a year ago at the state meet. Pearson is headed to Indian Hills to golf this fall.
As far as Dodger head coach Tommy Thompson is concerned, the openings mean others will receive an opportunity to step up and take charge.
Messenger photo by Dana Becker
Returning letterwinners for the Fort Dodge boys golf team are (left to right):?Nate Sunken, Alex Hage and Eric Puls.
Returning letterwinners Alex Hage, Nate Sunken and Eric Puls are part of a seven-member senior class that leads the way.
"Alex, Nate and Eric know what it takes to compete at the varsity level meet in and meet out," Thompson said. "We have some very big holes to fill, but I think we have the kind of kids that are up to the challenge."
Hage had an 81 earlier this week at the Mason City Invitational, including a 39 on his second nine. Puls carded an 82, while Sunken scored an 84.
2012 FORT DODGE BOYS GOLF
Seniors - Alex Hage, Nate Sunken, Eric Puls, Cameron Archibald, Devon Harms, Greg Nordstrom, Tyler Vaughn.
Juniors - Austin Sorenson, Isaac Poldervaart, Zach Provin, Andrew Stover.
Sophomores - Thomas Hartley, Erik Birnbaum, Kaden Peterson, Thomas Lang, Scot Dencklau.
Freshman - Chase Trenary.
(All home meets at Fort Dodge Country Club; duals start at 3:30 p.m.)
Aug. 28 - host Phil Joselyn Invitational, 10 a.m.; 30 - at Ankeny Invitational, 9 a.m.
Sept. 4 - Mason City; 10 - at Ames Invitational; 11 - Ames; 14 - at Marshalltown; 20 - at Waukee; 25 - at CIML Invitational in Polk City.
Oct. 2 - host districts.
Senior Cameron Archibald, along with sophomores Erik Birnbaum and Thomas Hartley, have been locked into the varsity positions early in the season.
"We are lacking a lot of competitive golf right now," Thompson said. "Our kids have played several rounds, but when you are paired up with another kid for a meet or a tournament, the level of intensity changes."
Senior Tyler Vaughn and junior Andrew Stover will split their time between football and golf, but could make serious runs at varsity spots later in the year.
Vaughn, Stover and senior Devon Harms were also on the Class 4A state runner-up baseball squad this past summer.
"We have to get stronger mentally if we hope to compete in the postseason," Thompson said. "These kids have the physical tools to play golf, but being able to stay mentally strong, overcoming bad shots and not letting missed putts get the best of you is what makes you a great player."
Fort Dodge will host the Phil Joselyn Invitational at the Country Club next Tuesday. The Dodgers will also host a district meet on Oct. 2, again at the FDCC.