FRONT ROYAL — Experience could be big for Mountain View’s golf team this season.
The Generals return three players from last year’s starting lineup on a team that advanced to the Class 2 State Championships.
“We’ve got three solid returners coming back with a lot of experience,” Mountain View head coach Brady Kibler said at last week’s Curly Licklider Invitational. “With Braxton (Biller), Andrew (Wymer) and Joey (McNamara) — those guys are going to be very good.”
Wymer, a senior, returns as Mountain View’s top golfer from last season. He struggled in the first tournament of the year, shooting an 87.
“I just didn’t feel good,” Wymer said after his round. “I couldn’t find a rhythm. It took me 17 holes to find a rhythm. On the last hole, I finally figured stuff out, but that’s just the game, I guess. I didn’t play bad. I just couldn’ t putt or chip.”
Kibler said he has confidence Wymer will bounce back and have another strong year.
“He’s just got to understand that stuff’s going to happen throughout the year,” Kibler said. “This tournament was a good example of ‘hey these are the things we’ve got to get better at.'”
McNamara, a senior, shot an 86 to lead the Generals in last week’s Curly Licklider Invitational. Biller, a senior, was not at the tournament.
The Generals lost three players to graduation from last year’s starting lineup, including Henry Bull and Emily Racer. However, Kibler said he’s got some promising new talent this season that he thinks will do fine.
Junior Stuart Pirtle, a standout swimmer and track and field athlete, is on the golf team for the first time. Pirtle shot a 94 in the Curly Licklider Invitational.
“Stuart has got a lot of talent,” Kibler said. “His thing is just learning how to play competitive golf.”
Sophomore Ben Kinkead, and freshmen Aiden Springer and Jackson Saeler rounded out the Generals’ lineup in the Curly Licklider Invitational.
Kibler said a key for his team this season will be making improvements as they go along.
“It just depends on how we progress through the year,” Kibler said. “But I’m excited where we are. We’ve got a lot of talent. We’re just young right now. (In the Curly Licklider Invitational) we had four players that had never played a high school golf match.”
Wymer said he thinks the younger players are doing well and the Generals should have a good team this year.
He said getting to states last year definitely gives the team something to shoot for this season.
“It’s a lot of motivation, because I want to try to get back there and try to play better,” Wymer said.
The Generals finished second behind Madison County in the district regular season, the district and regional tournaments.
Madison County lost quite a bit of its starting lineup to graduation and Brady said he believes the Bull Run District is wide open this season. Brady said he expects Madison County, Central and East Rockingham to be in contention along with his team.
Kibler said as long as his squad keeps working hard and improving, they can have another solid season.
“I think we need to come out and just attack each day and just get better,” Kibler said. “And if we can do that and shave a couple strokes on the greens, we’re going to be a pretty good team this year. There’s potential there.”