The off-season brought a lot of changes to the Cardinal golf team.
A large group of seniors graduated, a new coach was hired and the Huskies even had to change courses after their longtime home closed its doors.
Glenn Travers was hired in April to replace Greg McCandless and the Huskies relocated their home course to Rolling Green Golf Club in Huntsburg.
“We've got a new coach, a new golf course because Grandview closed down, so now we're over at Rolling Green, and we lost five seniors,” Travers said. “I have two freshmen, five sophomores and a junior. We're extremely young.”
Travers, whose daughter Virginia Travers is the lone returning player with varsity experience, hopes to rebuild the program from the elementary school level up to the varsity. The new coach informed Cardinal athletic director Andy Cardinal that he’d stick with the program until his wife retires.
“This program, it needs to be developed from the elementary school on up,” Travers said. “I told him I'd give him seven years to try to get some kids up from the youth level and get them interested and try to get something going with Rolling Green to get something to bring the kids up and make it accessible for kids to get addicted to this game.”
Virginia Travers, Jonathan Heredos, Daniel Heredos, Kevin Hammitt, Andrew Wichert, Devan Callison and Mitchell Samos all have seen varsity action in the first week of the season.
“I’ve got some good kids that are shooting OK,” Coach Travers said. “Their scores that they're shooting right now are not the ones they're going to be shooting in late September. We just have to develop. I've got to help out with some swings and course management and they'll be good.”
The good news for the Huskies is the experience the players gain this season will go a long way in creating competition in the future.
“With five sophomores, they'll be growing up together and hopefully when they're seniors we'll have a lot to look forward to,” Travers said. “Even with next year with Virginia, hopefully she'll continue her progress for lower scores.”
Virginia Travers is in a unique situation.
She’s the only girl on the boys’ team and in addition to being the only player with previous varsity experience she is competing for the No. 1 spot on the team.
“Right now she's doing good,” Coach Travers said. “She's only been playing for two years, so what she's going to have to learn is how to not let one hole affect her for the next two holes. That's going to come with experience and the more the season goes on. She's progressing. She likes to be the go-to person. There’s a pretty good battle between her and Jonathon Heredos for the first spot on the team. We've got people pushing each other and competition is always a good thing.”
The junior certainly has the drive to succeed in her role.
“She has lofty goals as far as her career goes,” Coach Travers said. “She wants to take this to the collegiate level. She wants to be a surgeon so she wants the first four years paid for by golf. With her tenacity I wouldn't bet against her in anything.”
Cardinal opened the season on Monday at the Bronko Invitational. The Huskies finished in 10th place with Jonathan Heredos leading the way with a 90 and Virginia Travers carding a 92.
The Huskies then competed in the Badger Invitational at Pleasant Hills on Tuesday. Jonathan Heredos again posted the lowest score for the Huskies. He shot a 95 while Travers came in with a 101.
At the Chagrin Valley Conference preseason tournament on Thursday, Travers withdrew after 11 holes when a previous injury flared up. Jonathan Heredos shot a 97 to finish tied for 17th in the Valley Division. Daniel Heredos was second on the team with a 105.