Jays open golf season today

The golf season starts today for the Jefferson City Jays.

Who will be where in the lineup once postseason play starts is a question that won’t be answered until later.

“The lineup will be a work in progress until the last week before districts,” Jays coach Randy Bickel said as Jefferson City prepared to travel today to Waynesville for a quad.

The Jays have just four upperclassmen on the 14-player roster.

“We’re young, but we’re making progress,” Bickel said. “They are all coachable and willing to try to make the changes we recommend.”

Three of the upperclassmen are seniors David Anderson, Grant Haarmann and Will Miller. Anderson and Haarmann were both full-time starters last year, while Miller saw extensive varsity time.

“I’m expecting great leadership out of those guys,” Bickel said.

Those three will be in the varsity lineup today, along with junior Andrew Hansen and sophomore Gabe Trowbridge.

“It’s a good group to start the season with,” Bickel said.

Others who figure to be in the battle for time on the varsity include sophomores James Spath, Kent Uhlman and Sean Burton. Bickel said as the season progresses, he can see some of his freshman players climbing into contention for varsity positions.

“We are just looking for the young guys to be a little more consistent,” he said. “But they’ve come a long way since the beginning of practice.

“I fully expect to see the younger guys contributing by the time districts roll around.”

The Jays have been able to practice outside for all but two days so far.

“We’ve had to battle the elements, but we’ve gotten some work done,” Bickel said. “It’s been bitterly cold at times and windy, but we’ve been able to get out and on the range, working on our chipping and putting.” Bickel said.

There has been concentrated effort on playing in the windy conditions.

“We work on controlling the ball, the trajectory, in an effort to play a little better in the wind,” Bickel said.

The Jays will play in one less tournament this season after the loss of the William Woods Invitational.

“I decided not to replace it on the schedule because I want that additional day of practice,” Bickel said.

Tournaments still on the schedule include the Columbia Classic, the Helias Invitational, the Laker Invitational and the Capital City Tournament. Jefferson City will play districts on May 5 at Old Kinderhook in Camdenton.

“Our goal, as always, is to win a district tournament title,” Bickel said.

Jefferson City finished fourth in districts last year. Trowbridge, Anderson and Hansen earned all-district honors.

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