Considering the youth Scott Foltz has been dealt the last three seasons, the longtime Minot High boys golf coach believes the return of his top six linksmen is a luxury.
For the first time since 2010 the Magicians will have a senior - three of them, even.
Now it's a matter of his club getting in a few hacks before opening its season at the Dickinson Invitational on Tuesday at Heart River Golf Course.
MDN File Photo
Minot junior Taran Albright takes a swing during a practice round at Souris Valley Golf Course last May. Kast is one of fourteen returners for the Magicians this spring.
Minot's first four practices have been in a gymnasiums, where Wiffle balls and hardwood haven't provided the best simulation.
"We return our entire team" said Foltz, in his 20th year as an area coach. "It's nice to have that experience back, but it's hard to tell where we are because haven't had a real practice yet."
The Magicians, who placed third at the West Region tournament a year ago, return 14 lettermen and believe they can do bettter.
Seniors - Braxton Heupul, Tyler Kast, Landon Klein
Juniors - Chase Geller, Tyler Nelson, Taran Albright, Ryan Keller, Jersey Kelly
Sophomores - Ty Jones, Matt Flom, Riley Holwegner
Freshmen - Cody Reynolds, Cole Nelson,
8th grader- Ian Geller
April - 16, Minot Invite, 10 a.m.; 19, at Mandan Invite, 10 a.m.; 20, at Bismarck Century Invite, 10 a.m.; 26-27, at East-West Invite at Jamestown, 10 a.m.
May - 3, at Turtle Mountain Invite, TBA; 4, at Williston Invite, 10 a.m.; 10, at Bismarck St. Mary's Invite; 11, at Bismarck High Invite, 10 a.m.; 28, West Region tournament at Dickinson, TBA.
June - 4-5, at Class A state tournament at Grand Forks, TBA.
All-West Region selection Tyler Kast sees his team competing for something beyond its seventh-place finish at the state tournament.
"We should bring a lot improvement to the table," said Kast, a four-year letterman. "We're capable of winning a couple tournaments and getting in the top three (at state)."
Ty Jones, another all-West Region pick, returns to Minot's top six along with Taran Ablright, Braxton Heupul, Jersey Kelly and Cody Reynolds.
Albright, a junior, was an all-West Region in 2011.
"These past few years we've been the young team," Foltz said. "Now we'll be the experienced team, but that will help us."
Foltz expects Bismarck High and Bismarck Century to be in the hunt for a region title again. Bismarck St. Mary's, which features arguably the best player in the state in Jake DeForest, could also be in mix.
"We could finish in the top (of the West Region)," Foltz said. "We have the potential to come away with a (state) trophy this year. I want a top-3 finish and that's not unrealistic."
NOTE: Minot was supposed to open its season at the Dickinson Invitational today, but it was canceled. Tuesday's Minot Invitational was been canceled. The makeup date for the Dickinson Invite is Tuesday. No makeup date has been set for the Minot Invitational.