A six-week season isn’t all that long, so Cody’s golfers spent the spring and summer working on their games, especially those close to the hole.
“Every year our focus is 100 yards and in,” coach Jacob Kraft said. “The short game is definitely key in the fall and hopefully we’ll make strides again this year. That’s where we get mid-80s to high-70s.”
Many of the Broncs participated in the spring season and played in the summer when able to be ready for the chance to improve on last year’s sixth-place finish at the state tournament.
“It’s definitely an advantage to play in the summer,” Kraft said.
Cody returns much of that team and welcomes a few new golfers. However, with Logan Oberheu having graduated after finishing third at state her senior year, there is no girls team.
Kraft, a Cody Middle School teacher, said he’s working on building both girls and boys teams for the future at the lower levels, but this fall it’ll be up to the core group of juniors, including brothers Logan and Carter Schutzman, and Hudson Oelschlager. All are at a similar level with their games.
“At any tournament it can happen and we’ll have a different leader every day,” Kraft said.
Last year the Cody boys finished 97 shots behind champs Lander.
Carter led the way, finishing 20th overall with a score of 177. Logan took 22nd and Oelschalger 23rd.
Beyond those three, Kraft is also expecting good effort on varsity from returner Jasper Crofts and freshman Andy Anderson.
Crofts has been recovering from an injured wrist and was set to start play last weekend. Crofts, attempting a double jump, crashed his mountain bike in Jackson over the summer while riding with Carter, Logan and Oschelager.
Anderson has been playing the sport three years and participated in spring golf. He’s working on his consistency and said so far he’s done better on the road than at home.
That’s good, as after the Park County Shootout on Aug. 15-16, Cody spends the rest of the season on the road, going as far as Evanston to play Purple Sage Golf Course for the 3A West Conference Tournament on Sept. 12-13.
State is a week later at Star Valley View Golf Course in Afton.
The Schutzmans are again prepared to lead the way through the quick season, having both scored on varsity since they were freshmen.
Over the summer both played in just about every adult tournament they could – a chance to not just practice the sport, but prepare for the competition.
They know they can still improve, but they’re entering the season confident.
“I can definitely see myself improving, but this is a good base,” Carter said. “This year I’m relaxed and having fun – that helps a lot.”