Wildcats try to sort out golf lineup

Photo by Corey Stolzenbach/The Herald
Jasper senior Nick Buechlein practices Tuesday at Buffalo Trace Golf Course. The Wildcats will rely a lot on Buechlein this spring. 

By COREY STOLZENBACH
sports@dcherald.com

JASPER - Jasper will have a puzzle to try to piece together on the golf course this spring.

The Wildcats will have a top five that looks vastly different than the one they had two years ago. They graduated top golfer Jack Bies in 2019, but would've had some experience back for 2020. However, with the COVID-19 pandemic shutting down spring sports, Jasper will also have to find more golfers to put in the lineup after losing Avery Hollinden, Landon Kissel and Luke Ackerman to graduation in 2020.

"It'll be different," Jasper coach Caleb Begle said. "This will be the first time that we really don't have multiple guys where you kind of count on them to be in your lineup."

Yet, Begle thinks it's also exciting, too, because he wants to see how his sophomores improved from what would've been their freshman season. He believes the Wildcats have a lot of golfers who worked on things last summer.

One person Begle touted for the time he spent on the golf course is senior Nick Buechlein, whom Jasper will be turning towards this year.

"Whatever he's doing, he takes it very seriously," he said of Buechlein. "I saw him at the golf course a lot this summer. He's going to be a guy that sets a really good example for our guys this year as far as his work ethic."

He felt Buechlein likely would've been somewhere in the 2020 lineup, and has earned his chance to play. Junior Jordan Krempp and sophomore Daniel Moore also stood out to Begle, based on what he saw during the summer. He told that Herald that Moore was spending time on the golf course with Bies, who now golfs for Bellarmine University.

"Jack and I have talked, and Jack's talked highly of Daniel and his game and his work ethic," Begle said.

The Wildcats will not only have to contend with a vastly different lineup from the last time they teed off, but they'll have to do so in their first year in the Southern Indiana Athletic Conference. Begle noted the SIAC is competitive with teams like Castle, Evansville Central, Evansville Memorial, Evansville North and Evansville Mater Dei.

"It's a really solid conference, and it's exciting," he said. "It's fun to compete against good players and play with good players. We'll look forward to the challenge, and it'll be different, but it's also exciting."

The Wildcats had won 12 straight boys sectional championships prior to last year, but Begle knows it's never easy to win. He pointed out that Buechlein is the only golfer they have who has prior sectional experience, and Begle knows it'll be competitive as Jasper will try to win a 13th straight sectional.

"That'd be fantastic," Begle said. "But we're not going to sit there all year long and say, 'We have to do this, we have to do that.' What he have to do is just come with the right approach and get better every day, and then be ready to play well at the sectional."

Jasper's season is set to begin April 6 against Vincennes Rivet at Buffalo Trace Golf Course.




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