Maumelle golf coach Michael Shook expects nothing less than defending last years’ title and a 4A-4 boys’ conference championship next week.
The Hornets compete in the conference golf tournament next Wednesday (Sept. 25) in Booneville. The top two teams and the next four individuals will also advance to the state tournaments in October. The boys’ team is expected to make a run for the state title.
“We are playing fantastic,” Shook said. “Based on what we had returning and what I’m hearing, we are one of the top two teams in 4A. The other is Valley View, and they are hosting state so that will give them an advantage.”
When the entire varsity team has played together, the Hornets have only lost to Conway, by three strokes. Although if that competition would have been scored the way the 4A does it, Shook said Maumelle would have won. In 4A, the best three scores out of four are used. In 7A, it is the best four scores.
“Our first three were better than theirs,” he said. “But, their fourth man was better than ours.”
Leading the Hornets is sophomore Caleb Kubacak in the number one spot, and he is averaging par (36). Sophomore Ryan Spurlock is the number two guy and is averaging 37. With a 41 average, junior Austin Freeman is maintaining the third spot, and sophomore Hunter Matthews is the fourth guy with a 43 average.
With 13 guys on the team, Shook has been able to field a full junior varsity and varsity schedule. Because the players can only compete in 12 matches and with 25 matches scheduled, Shook has sometimes mixed up the teams of junior varsity and varsity players.
As for the conference tournament, they are expected to win again. Shook said last years’ second-place team, Subiaco, could give them some competition. However, the Hornets defeated the Trojans earlier in the season by seven strokes.
On the girls’ side, the Hornets are young and inexperienced. Trying to make a team, Shook talked some of them into playing and three of the four have only been playing since June. He sees improvement each week, and while he doesn’t expect a team title believes perhaps someone could qualify for state as an individual.
The girls’ team is comprised of sophomore Shelby Raborn at the number one spot, sophomore Andrea Oates as the number two golfer, junior Dale Hindman at the third spot and sophomore Caroline Sweet as the number four golfer.