MASON CITY | Mason City boys golf coach Jim Cornick will not have a lot of varsity experience teeing it up this fall, but the veteran Mohawks coach doesn’t want to use that as an excuse.
Mason City will be a sophomore and junior dominated team this year, but for Cornick, that may be a good thing.
“One nice thing about fall golf is that you shouldn’t have to change too much during the season,” Cornick said. “They got out as much as they could this summer.”
One player who brings back a wealth of experience despite just entering his sophomore year is Mason City’s top player, JJ Wickman.
As a freshman, Wickman carded a 77 in district play at Pheasant Ridge in Cedar Falls to qualify as an individual for the Class 4A state meet
Wickman finished in a tie for 37th with rounds of 81 and 86 at the Tournament Club of Iowa in Polk City, but his two-round total placed him second among the freshmen who qualified for the event.
After Wickman, the lineup will be a work in progress for the early part of the tournament season.
Peter Stadheim, Evan Lynch and Brad Vaith will likely hold down varsity spots.
Dylan Pederson and Tanner Hanson should get shots at positions in the varsity lineup early in the season as Cornick looks for some consistent scoring.
“It we can get JJ and Peter in the 70s and two other kids in the low 80s, we will have a chance,” Cornick said.
One concern Cornick has with an inexperienced lineup is how well the players will perform when the Mohawks get away from the comfort level of their home course.
Of the 15 dates on the Mason City schedule, only five are home meets.
“We will play some really good golf courses,” Cornick said. “If we can minimize big numbers, it will be good to see.”
Cornick also is faced with a roster that features no freshmen players, so despite the inexperience, there also is a sense of urgency to improve rapidly.
“There are just not that many young kids playing golf,” Cornick said.
After being rained out in the scheduled opener on Monday, Cornick did manage to get his first look at competition as Mason City played host to Johnston in a dual meet at Highland Park on Tuesday