EWHS Spring Sports Preview: Prichard expects experienced Warriors to lead 2012 boys golf squad

Edmonds-Woodway High School boys golf coach Andrew Prichard has high hopes for his team in 2012, and rightfully so after the display put on by the Warriors during the 2011 campaign. 

“I thought the team worked hard all year,” Prichard said. “And I couldn’t have been prouder of the effort from the entire team from the beginning to the end of the season.”

Prichard’s squad made three individual appearances in the 2011 District Tournament:  Dylan Merrill,  Keaton Yalowicki and Karl Gerde.

“All three are great kids and do an excellent job of leading by example, but also vocally if the need arises,” Prichard added. “We have a very talented group of players.”

The team’s proven success and determination won’t make things easy for them this year, however. Prichard’s expectations for the 2012 squad have already been set relatively high.

Merrill, who was the number-one player on last year’s team as a freshman and will continue with that role this year, fell just two strokes short of making the state tournament.

“I was very disappointed for him, because I knew how much it meant to him,” Prichard said of Merrill. “This year, I am confident he will make the jump to the next level.”

Merill’s level of experience at such a young age will likely prove to be an advantage for the Warriors this season. With the seniority of junior Yalowicki and senior Gerde to support him, Prichard’s squad should have some well-established leaders to guide the younger players.

“Like any other team, we can improve in all aspects of our game, physically, but also mentally and emotionally,” Prichard added. “That’s the thing about golf; you have to adjust quickly and work through it while staying tough and keeping your cool.”

Time will soon tell whether Prichard’s squad is ready to begin the quest for the State Tournament this season. The Warriors’ first matchup of the season — against Lake Stevens and Monroe — is Tuesday, March 20, at 3 p.m. at Battle Creek Golf Course, Tulalip.

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