Jackson County golfers set to tee off season today


Today will be a learning day for the Jackson County boys golf teams.

Seymour and Brownstown Central will open their season in the Seymour Invitational at Shadowood Golf Course, where the first teams will tee off at 9 a.m.

Trinity Lutheran and Medora will open in the Edinburgh Invitational at Timbergate, where the action will start at 10 a.m.

Todd Jack has moved up to the head position at Trinity after serving as Doug Sabotin’s assistant last spring.

Jim Hoffman returns at Seymour, Brent Hattabaugh is back at Brownstown and Darrell Persinger is coaching Medora again.

A look at the teams:

Brownstown Central

Hattabaugh and the Braves got off to a later start than the other teams because of the success of the basketball team, as three or four of the players he expects to be competing for playing time were members of the basketball team.

Heading up the veterans are Chandler Stahl, who was the Braves’ most valuable player last season, Jaren Cunningham, who received the mental attitude award, and Caiden Gwin, who was named most improved player last season.

That trio and Elix Preston are the seniors. Other returning lettermen are sophomores Smith Hackman and Matthew Reedy.

Heading up the freshmen are Micah Sheffer and Collin Downing. Hattabaugh said both of them are very talented, and he expects them to battle for varsity playing time. Sheffer has won numerous tournaments in the past.

“Micah will be competing for No. 1. Chandler has been playing No. 1 for the past two years,” Hattabaugh said. “He has improved every year and went to regional last year. He’s good off the tee, and he’s getting a lot better with his putting. He saved a lot of strokes with his putting last year.”

The experienced players mixed with the young players, Hattabaugh expects the team to improve a lot.

“We’ve improved over the past two years, probably about 20 or 30 strokes from the beginning to the end. I expect we can probably improve by another 20 strokes this year,” he said. “They can all hit the ball pretty well. It just comes down to the short game. At the start of the season, it’s a little cold, a little windy, but we’re going to improve as the season goes on. We’d like to shoot in the 320s to start out with.”

The Braves will compete in eight tournaments this spring prior to the Mid-Southern Conference tournament.


Persinger will be working with two players this spring, Braxton McCory and Eli Sturgill. Both are seniors.

McCory played last spring, while this is Sturgill’s first season playing golf.

“I don’t know if Eli even played before,” Persinger said. “Braxton is getting better at his chipping and putting. That is where he struggled last year because he hadn’t played before. He plays a lot with my son, Keanon, at Hickory Hills. I’m hoping Braxton can be in the top five in most matches and maybe be a medalist in one of the matches.”

Medora will play in the same matches as Trinity Lutheran this spring. Medora practices at Shadowood.


Hoffman said he has five seniors and five freshmen.

“The freshmen are strong coming in, so that will help us,” he said.

The seniors are Trevor Alberring, Manny Fontanez, Eli Meyer, Ty Stuckwisch and Noah Surface.

Stuckwisch received the varsity sportsmanship award last season, and sophomore Jay Herbert received the JV sportsmanship award.

Fontanez averaged 39 shots for nine holes and 79 for 18 last spring, Surface averaged 43 and 87 and Alberring averaged 45 for nine.

There also are six juniors and sophomores.

“I think two or three of them will make a push to be in the starting lineup,” Hoffman said. “Ty Stuckwisch has been playing all winter, hitting balls and practicing, working hard. With Noah Surface and Trevor Alberring, we’ve got a good little nucleus. We’ve got some kids that haven’t played a whole lot, but we’ve got some kids that have played quite a bit.”

Meyer and sophomore Trevor Goecker will battle for varsity playing time.

“This time of year with the cold weather, it’s real hard to tell. We’re looking for a good, solid number (today) depending on what the weather is,” Hoffman said.

“Our initial goal is to be in the 330, 340 range, and we’ll work our way down from there,” he said. “We’re going to have some goals and try to work our way down. I’m pretty confident we’re going to be 20 to 30 strokes better than we were last year. It’s going to be fun competing and having those kids with a good work ethic and Ty and Noah working hard.”

Trinity Lutheran

Jack has two experienced golfers in senior Gabe Lorenz and sophomore Wylie Jones.

Lorenz is the only senior on the roster. Juniors are Andrew Lemming and Solomon Hall, and Jones is the only sophomore.

Jack said he expects Lorenz and Jones to be in the lineup all season.

“Those two definitely have experience when it comes to knowing what to do and what it’s going to look like on match day,” he said. “Gabe is kind of like that quiet pillar. It’s hard to tell whether he is fazed or not, so I would say his biggest strength is just the fact that he is even keel. With Wylie, I like the experience that he has already because it is a big difference on your casual golf day to a high school golf match.”

Jack said during preseason practices, he had the players work on the various parts of their game, spending a lot of time on the driving range, on the putting green and around the chipping green.

“During the first few weeks, we’re going to be in the front end of the clubhouse getting a lot of time in on our skills,” he said. “The question is who will be the five that will be going to the matches.”

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