Work on the short game, and perhaps the season will get longer.
That's the plan for
Sequim's boys golf team, as the Wolves look to another strong season on the links.
Wolves coaches Garrett Smithson (girls head coach) and Vic Quinet (boys) say there's plenty of reason for optimism as Sequim preps to play the fairways with Olympic League foes starting this week.
On the boys' side, Sequim enjoyed a banner year in 2009. The Wolves saw their top three golfers - Ryan O'Mera, Chad Quinet and Colby Rude - sweep the top three places at the Olympic League tournament for automatic state berths. Although all three missed the first-day cut, each missed fewer than five shots.
Graduation took Quinet, Rude, Brendon Gilles and Sean Lindstedt, leaving
Sequim's roster with O'Mera, senior Steve Loerlein, junior Jesse Francis and sophomore Casey Torres with any varsity experience.
"We're kind of dedicating this as a rebuilding year, although we have some talent coming up from JV," Vic Quinet says. "We are really concentrating on our short game."
O'Mera earned Sequim's top finish at league and at state as a freshman, and looks to improve upon his 43rd-place finish at state.
The Sequim coach noted that golfers Jake Dethlefsen, Ezra Perkins, Mallory Maloney and in particular Brendan Hudson, a freshman, should give the Wolves depth by season's end.
"I'm not making any great predictions because I don't know how the rest of the league looks like," Vic Quinet says.
Zbaraschuk aims for the top
What Sequim's girls lack in sheer numbers - six players make up the roster - they make up for in experience, since all six of them saw varsity action for the Wolves in 2009.
Zbaraschuk is the leader, with three state tournament appearances in as many years.
She finished 21st overall at state as a freshman, seventh as a sophomore and ninth last spring as a junior.
"The one thing Zoei has done (differently) in this off-season is just put herself out in the tournament atmosphere," Smithson says. "She's played in some pretty big events, at least two a month."
Teammate Kim Duce, a junior, is no slouch either. She posted her second state appearance last spring, improving her 78th-place state tourney finish as a freshman to 67th overall in 2009.
Smithson says Duce played in four junior golf association events in the off-season.
Lisa Doan, Hailey Estes, Ashley Morton and Loretta Creasey round out the experienced squad.
"They are much improved," coach Smithson noted. "I was very surprised with the first day of practice."
Smithson figures the Wolves' top competition in the Olympic League will come from familiar foes Olympic and Port Angeles.
Reach Michael Dashiell at email@example.com.
At a glance: SHS golf preview
Head coach: Girls - Garrett Smithson (fourth year); Boys - Vic Quinet (12th year overall)
Assistants: Girls - Andrew Horsford; Boys - Eric Bower
2009 record: Girls - 5-2, third in Olympic League (2A league champs), advanced two individuals to state; Boys - 6-1, second in Olympic League (2A league champs), advanced three individuals to state
Returning players: Girls - Zoei Zbaraschuk, Kim Duce, Hailey Estes, Lisa Doan, Ashley Morton, Loretta Creasey. Boys - Ryan O'Mera, Steve Loerlein, Casey Torres, Josh Francis
Newcomers: Girls - none; Boys - Michael Ballard, Josue Cadenas, Matthew Cays, Benjamin Clendening, Jake Dethlefsen, Brendon Hudson, Mallory Maloney, Theodore McColl, Patrick McCready, Ezra Perkins, Joel Rich, Carl Rushton, Kyle Trepanier
Outlook: The Wolves girls squad has plenty of experience. Zbaraschuk looks primed to break into the top five and possibly a state championship. The boys lack experience but show promise. Just a sophomore, O'Mera looks like a safe bet to make first day cut at state.