The Newton High School boys' golf team will have a little bit of rebuilding to do for the 2014 season.
Joanie Pauls begins her second season as the Railer coach. She is assisted by John Werner, who will handle the junior varsity.
The Railers were second in the Ark Valley-Chisholm Trail League Division I last season and fourth at regionals.
"We lost three of our top four players from last year (including our two state qualifiers)," Joanie Pauls said. "Our success will depend on how much our younger players have improved from last year."
Three letterwinners return — senior Cole Rother, junior Alex Rickard and junior Avery Anderson. Rother was a second-team All-AV-CTL I pick last season.
Looking to move up from the junior varsity are junior Conner Mitchell and sophomores Trevor Pryor, Jordyn Stevenson and Josh Akers.
Sophomore Sam Hatch is a transfer from Sedgwick.
Top freshmen include Max Brenneman and Tanner Pauls.
"Cole Rother will be our only varsity player with State experience," Joanie Pauls said. "We will need to count on him, as well as Alex Rickard and Avery Anderson (our other returning letter winners) to be our consistent leaders on the course. Max Brenneman and Tanner Pauls are incoming freshman that have been involved in KJGA summer events for the past couple years. Their tournament experience should help them contribute to the team score. Conner Mitchell (who played jv last year) was also active in summer golf competitions and I’m hoping to see lower scores from him this season.
"We have only had a few practices due to the weather, so I’m still waiting to see what jv players from last year will have improved their scoring. Trevor Pryor has had early success in qualifying. Last year, we missed qualifying the team for State by one stroke. I think that motivated the players to work hard this summer and leaves me optimistic for the season."
The Newton coach called Hutchinson, the defending AV-CTL I champ, the team to beat in league play this season. She said the Salt Hawks return most of their line-up for this season.
April 7 @ Salina Inv. (Salina Municipal GC) 3 p.m.
April 10 @ McPherson Inv. (Turkey Creek GC) 2 p.m.
April 15 Newton Inv. (Sand Creek Station) 1 p.m.
April 25 @ Salina Inv. (Salina Municipal GC) 3 p.m.
April 28 @ Derby Inv. (Derby CC) 3 p.m.
May 1 @ Hesston Inv. (Hesston GC) 1 p.m.
May 2 @ Hutchinson Inv. (Carey Park GC) 8 a.m.
May 6 Hesston-Newton Inv. (Hesston GC, Sand Creek Station) 8 a.m.
May 8 @ Winfield Inv. (Winfield CC) 3 p.m.
May 12 AV-CTL I @ Salina Municipal GC 10 a.m.
May 19 Regionals TBA
May 27 State @ Wichita CC TBA