Tuscola boys golf motivated for success

Mar. 31—Tuscola boys golf has been on the green a lot this season already, competing in a number of 9-hole matches, an 18-hole match at Black Mountain and Etowah.

Head coach Austin Sluder said it's all part of the plan.

"We've been all over the map to get the kids as much golf as possible," he said. "We're off campus every day."

Thankfully, Tuscola's golf team has two local courses at Lake Junaluska and Springdale, that make driving to and from the course easy for the boys.

"Were thankful for our local courses for helping us out. They do a really good job of accommodating," Sluder said.

The team is trying to build off of a successful season last year.

"We had had four guys qualify for regionals last year," Sluder said. "All four are back, and we've added three more kids — two freshmen and a senior. Our goal is to get better."

So far, so good.

"We've been doing really well," Sluder said. "We're dealing with the weather and the wind, but they're trying their hardest."

The team came in second on March 9 at Laurel Ridge, scoring 178 points.

Jacob Edwards scored the overall low score with a 38. Colin Decker and Aiden Campbell each scored 45s, while Mark Mulholland scored a 48 and Sam Decker a 50.

The boys then battled to a third-place finish during an 18-hole match at Sky Valley on March 23.

Edwards scored the team-low again, an 87, while Campell was second with a 90. Both Colin and Sam Decker scored 91s, and Erik Fitzgerald scored 116.

Crosstown rival Pisgah won each event. But Sluder and company use it as motivation.

"Every match we've been within 10 strokes," Sludr said. "We've been working on our short range because that's where you score. We're trying to push quality putts, and quality chipping."

But Tuscola has been in this position before. Last season, the boys got hot right before the conference tournament and ended up winning one of the three rounds.

"It's starting to warm up, the confidence is there, and now it's about going out and executing," Sluder said.