Fri, July 19

Mingus Golf hopes its strength won't also be its weakness

Coach Craig Mai gives the team instruction. Mai said the team youth is exciting, but could also hurt the team. VVN/Derek Evans

Coach Craig Mai gives the team instruction. Mai said the team youth is exciting, but could also hurt the team. VVN/Derek Evans

COTTONWOOD -- In sports, young players can add excitement. But with the excitement also comes inexperience. On a team with no seniors, Mingus Union High School golf hopes it can bring that excitement.

Head coach Craig Mai, who is in his sixth year with the Marauders, is looking forward to what his young players can bring to the team.

"We're going to be awfully young," Mai said. "We lost our four top golfers this past season. We got a lot of kids that are going to get a lot of opportunities to improve ... We're going to be learning a lot all year long."

While the youth of team is exciting, Mai said it can also be its biggest hurdle this season.

"What we're going to do early in the season is make sure we take advantage of every opportunity to get better," he said. "If we do that, I think we can be pretty tough."

Mai mentioned that last year the Marauders were second in Northern Arizona behind Flagstaff.

"We took our top two players to state," he said. "They both ended up in the top 25 at state, so they did outstanding last year as individuals.

A key golfer for Mingus this year is sophomore Keagan Lamb.

"I think Flagstaff is going to be a tough team," Lamb said. "But I think we have a nice group of men here. I think we have a lot of potential."

He mentioned he has specific goals for himself this year.

"I hope to play about par," Lamb said.

He added that accuracy is his strength in golf.

"When I was really little I always use to hit it straight," Lamb said. Then, once you gain power, you start losing control a little bit. But, I hold on to it."

Another important player to the Marauders is junior Grant Williams. Williams is one of the most experienced players. He added that it will take time for the team to get use to the new golfers.

"We need to know the team more and build on each other."

Although he played golf for two years before high school, Williams said he has learned a lot the past three years.

"The tempo and the mindset," Williams said.

He added there are a few things they need to do to be as well as they should be this season.

"Just really communicating with each other," Williams said. "There's a lot we can improve on."

If Mingus is to achieve well this year, junior Chance Alexander needs to have a big season.

"Hopefully I'll make it to state and do well in state," Alexander said

He said he knows what to do to get there.

"Probably improving on the short game, learning how to drive."

He said there is nothing stopping him from doing better in those areas.

"I think I can do a lot this year," Alexander said.