Warren golfers begin practice today

VINCENT – Warren’s golf team claimed its first league title in 22 years last fall.

Nathan Evans is hoping that the Warriors’ next one will be a lot sooner.

“We will be approaching this season just like we do every season,” said the sixth-year Warren golf coach. “And, that’s to try to win the SEOAL (Southeastern Ohio Athletic League) and getting out of the sectional.”

It’s expected to be perhaps more of a challenge this season, as there’s more parity in the league, and the defending royal blue and white champions took a major graduation hit.

“I lost my top four guys from last year,” Evans said.

Of that quartet, three of them – Zack McKenna, Steve Farley, and Michael Sams are planning to compete at the collegiate level. McKenna and Farley will be heading to Methodist University in Fayetteville, N.C., while Sams is going to Muskingum University in New Concord.

Adam Lang, the fourth senior to graduate has elected not to play golf in college.

Last year, McKenna, Farley and Lang each was an all-league honoree. Sams finished his prep career as an all-district pick.

Reece Patton, Warren’s No. 5 man in 2012, is back for his senior season, and that’s a big plus. He’s expected to be the team’s No. 1 guy on the golf course this upcoming fall.

“Reece is a real good athlete, and he’s put a lot of time and effort into his game,” Evans said. “I think he could be one of the top golfers in the area.”

Patton is also a standout basketball player, who helped the Warriors advance to the state tournament in Columbus last winter.

Warren has three other seniors to keep an eye on in Alex Flesher, Robert Henry, and Braxton Harter.

“Robert and Alex split as the sixth man last season,” Evans said.

Warren’s junior golfers will include Jane Kubala and Drew Simms, a first-year golfer.

The sophomores will feature Mitch Eddleblute, Turner Schilling, and Anzley Schenz.

Rounding out the roster will be seven freshmen – Kyler Dennis, Max Hapney, Josh Jankauskas, Sam Long, Chase Welsh, Megan Jacobson, and Dakota Maston.

“I have a good crop of freshmen coming in,” Evans said.

Warren is scheduled to hit some balls and work on its short game in the fields behind the high school at 8 a.m. today. On Friday, the Warriors will be practicing at Oxbow, their home course.

At 1 p.m. Aug. 6, Warren is slated to host SEOAL opponents’ Gallia Academy and Logan in a season-opening tri-meet.

“It’s a long season, and I think once our younger people get their feet wet and get their confidence, we’re going to be OK,” Evans said.