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Eyeing new season
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WCHS freshman Isaac Cantrell watches as his tee shot soars down the fairway at McMinnville Country Club. He is one of five freshmen on the team.
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WCHS freshman Sawyer Seymour chips onto the green close enough to one putt during the opening day of golf practice Monday. Peyton Haston, back, watches the ball in flight.

The Warren County High School golf team is just a chip shot away from the start of the 2019 season.

The Pioneers will be relying on the talents of one senior, two juniors, and five freshmen when they hit the fairway in less than two weeks for their season opener July 29 in Cookeville.

Peyton Haston is the senior member of the squad, with junior Colton Krech also providing valuable experience. Both have been members of the golf team their entire high school careers.

“Peyton and Colton will be our anchors,” said coach J.W. Holt. “They bring good tournament and match experience to the team. They’ve been with us since they were freshmen. They are both very close in their scoring average.”

Haston said he typically shoots in the low to mid 80s. “On a good day, I’ll break into the 70s,” he said.

Holt said he is glad to see the infusion of five freshmen to give the Pioneers a complete team. Boys high school golf is played with five players. The worst score is tossed out and the top four are counted toward the team score. You can play with four, but all four scores are counted.

Due to low participation, the Pioneers didn’t have enough players to compete as a team and could only play individually last year.

“I’m thrilled to have five freshmen,” said Holt. “If we can get a couple of them to shoot in the 80s on a regular basis we should be in good shape.”

The five freshmen are Isaac Cantrell, Sawyer Seymour, Jacob Nunley, Alec Johnson and Chase Newby. Chase Simerly, a junior, is playing high school golf for the first time.

The WCHS boys golf team may feel a little lonely on the course. There are no female golfers this season so the high school will not have a girls team.

“Not unless somebody decides to show up this week,” said coach Holt, who noted golf participation usually goes in cycles.

In recent years, the Lady Pioneer golf team has enjoyed as much success as any WCHS program. The girls golf team qualified for the state tournament three years in a row from 2013-15. 

That success earned college scholarships for four of those players, Brittany Myers, Salem Powell, Brynn Craven and Valeria Vargas.