Brownstown Central head coach Brandon Allman has five familiar faces returning this season as the Braves open their golf slate up today at Shadowood Golf Course for the Seymour Invitational.
Competing for the Braves will be senior Emma Hughbanks, juniors Gracie Reynolds and Megan VonDielingen and sophomores Jayda Clodfelder and Abby Schroer.
Hughbanks will be playing as the No. 1 today at Shadowood, but Allman said the order could fluctuate throughout the season.
“I think it’s going to depend,” he said. “Gracie was playing really well at the end of last year, and she played more this summer. Today, senior Emma Hughbanks will be playing No. 1. I think Megan is really hitting the ball well to start practice, too.”
Brownstown lost four seniors from last year in Payton Ault, Kelsey Ault, Hannah Hackman and Lexie Satterthwaite. Reynolds, VonDielingen, Clodfelder and Schroer were all first-timers last season.
Now that they’re all back along with Hughbanks, Allman feels it’ll be nice the five know what to expect.
“It is nice that they’re all familiar with me and they know how things work,” he said. “We’re not battling or playing for positions or anything like that. I told the girls in the first practice that I really want to have fun this year. I want to make it enjoyable and get better.”
Allman said he thinks being able to relax and focus on fundamentals is going to help the girls. He also plans to keep things competitive in practice so no one gets complacent with their position on the team and keeps working to get better.
Last Friday, Allman purposely had the girls tee off right before Brownstown grad and professional golfer Chris Baker played a scramble at Hickory Hills Golf Club. Allman wanted to do that so he could still coach the team while also watching his good friend Baker play the course.
Baker held a free clinic later that day, and the Braves stuck around to watch it. Allman asked Baker a question about preparation and things he does in practice, and Allman plans to use some of those ideas with his own team. For example, one thing Baker said he does is play a putting version of the basketball game Knockout.
“I think it was great. I know him personally. We grew up together,” Allman said. “I’ve always said this about Chris. He’s a much better person than he is a golfer, and he’s a pretty damn good golfer. That’s just what he’s like. He’s great with my kids, and he’s great with kids in general.”
The Braves tee off at 9 a.m. today for the Seymour Invitational, which will also include the Owls and many other teams.
Last year, Brownstown shot a 411 and finished eighth, while Seymour shot a 404 to finish sixth.
Today’s match is a shotgun start, meaning all of the golfers participating in the tournament are all on the course before starting their round with the intention to keep play moving without clogging up the course.
Full coverage of how the Braves and Owls do will be featured in Thursday’s Tribune.