Mar. 27—GREENSBURG — Ben Bausback has been playing golf since he was in middle school. After being unable to play his junior season, the Greensburg senior is looking to savor his final season on the links.
"I'm looking at it with the uncertainty of last year, and having something that you wait for for so long taken away, this year I've taken a different approach of enjoying every moment," Bausback said. "Taking advantage of the matches we play, the practices we have, the meets we get to attend — because we don't really know if we're gonna get another one."
Bausback was Greensburg's No. 1 golfer two years ago. The Pirates also return their No. 2 player, senior Devin Winkler, who has aspirations of playing golf in college.
"I'm bummed we didn't get a season last year, because last year was the time to get noticed by colleges," Winker said. "So hopefully there's enough time to make something happen."
The Pirates have four seniors playing golf this season, including returning player Nathan Navarra and newcomer Shane Able.
Jonathan Flinn is the lone junior.
Brock Adams, Bryce Stringer and Abe Tebbe are sophomores, while Parker Phillips and Hunter Springmeyer are freshmen.
That makes 11 players for Bryce Mize, who's coached the Pirates since 2012. Not having a season in 2020, combined with many newcomers, has created a wait-and-see approach.
"I do think we have some talent," Mize said. "Hopefully those young guys get adjusted quickly."
The concern with younger players is how their game will transfer to away courses they've never played before.
"So we'll see on the away meets, but I expect some good scores at home, for sure," Mize said.
The Pirates have two main goals every season: win conference and advance to regional. They didn't achieve either in Mize's first season, but since have six won conference titles and advanced to regional six times.
"We've been pretty successful with meeting those goals," Mize said. "It's kind of turned into an expectation instead of a goal. You get disappointed when it doesn't happen."
Bausback fired a 76 at sectional his sophomore year to lead the Pirates. He hopes to be more consistent this season, after sometimes shooting in the mid-70s and other times shooting in the mid-80s.
Winkler won conference by a shot two years ago, shooting a 75. He also hopes to be more consistent and lower his scoring average to below 40 for nine holes.
The Pirates finished third at sectional in 2019, behind perennial powerhouses Columbus North and Columbus East.
The players realize getting to play their home course, Greensburg Country Club, at sectional is certainly a nice advantage and luxury. The EIAC tournament will likely be held at Connersville this season.
"It's kind of different to be in a position where you're now the senior, when you used to be younger and an underclassmen," Bausback said. "So taking advantage of the opportunities you have on the course and taking the opportunities you have with your teammates to create that bond and have a good year."
Andy Scheidler may be contacted at 812-663-3111 ext. 217401 or firstname.lastname@example.org.