WEST JEFFERSON — The Ashe County Huskies boys golf team season is in full swing after finishing non-conference play, putting on a good showing while giving opportunities to younger players.
The Huskies played their first match of the non-conference season March 6 at Cedar Rock Country Club in Lenoir. They were joined by Hibriten, who was hosting, and Watauga.
Hibriten finished first at their home course with a score of 178, Ashe placed second with a 190 and Watauga came in third with a score of 201. Ashe was led by Caleb Scott with a score of 43, good for third overall. He was closely followed up by Jake Patton’s 44. Jack Hinson scored a 49, Zac Somers and Dalton Richardson both shot a 54 and Seth Pritchard finished with 57.
The Huskies’ second match was March 2 at Oakwoods Country Club in Wilkesboro. Ashe faced Wilkes Central, West Wilkes and Alleghany.
Wilkes Central finished first with a score of 162, Ashe finished second again with a 192. Scott led the way with a 42, good for third overall, Patton finished second on the team with a 44. Hinson came in with a 51, Ethan Goodman shot 55 in his first high school match and Pritchard finished with 57.
Ashe’s third non-conference match was March 21 at Cedarbrook Country Club in Elkin. The Huskies played against Elkin, East Wilkes, Surry Central, Alleghany and North Wilkes, finishing third.
Scott finished with 40, the best score of the team and good for second overall. Patton shot a solid 49, while Hinson came in with a 50. Somers finished up his day with a 57, Conner Howell played his first time in a high school shirt and came in with a 61 while Dalton Richardson followed up with a 63.
The Huskies went back to Oakwoods March 21 for a match against East Wilkes, Wilkes Central, Starmount, Elkin, Alleghany and West Wilkes. Ashe finished tied with East Wilkes for third with a total score of 190.
Patton finished first among the Huskies with a 45, Scott and Hinson followed him with scores of 46. Somers came in with a 53 and Richardson shot 58 on the day.
The Huskies finished up their non-conference season March 26, this time going back to Cedarbrook. They faced off with Elkin, Wilkes Central, West Wilkes, East Wilkes, Starmount and Surry Central.
Ashe finished second, only four shots off first-place Wilkes Central, with a season low of 174. Scott and Hinson led the team and tied with scores of 40, good for third overall. Patton finished with 41, Howell shot 53 on the day, Somers came in with 56 and Goodman finished up the day with a 61.
The team’s first conference match was March 28 at Oakwoods. They played two nine-hole matches in one day, the first being hosted by Wilkes Central. Ashe Finished fourth with a 189.
Hinson led the way with a 41, Scott came in with a 45, Patton shot 51, Howell finished up with 52 and Somers had a 58. In the second match of the day, hosted by West Wilkes, the Huskies third with 182. Scott smoked the course with a 39, Hinson shot another 41, Patton came in with a 48, Howell finished up with a 54 and Somers came in with a 56.
The opening matches leaves Ashe fourth in the conference, only 13 points behind a third-place Starmount. Scott and Hinson are both in the top ten on the individual conference standings.
Huskies head coach Chad Scott said the early matches have show a lot of promise for the team, especially the young players.
“I’m really excited to see how freshman Conner Howell and Ethan Goodman are coming along,” Scott said. “I was happy to have Conner join our team. I wasn’t expecting him to be on the traveling team in his freshman year but he has worked very hard and it is showing on the course.”
He added that all that’s left for the team is continued growth and a fight to finish the season better than last year.
“Caleb, Jack and Jake aren’t new to the pressure of conference play so I’m expecting some consistent scoring out of these guys,” Scott said. “With the other guys on the team getting better every day, it’s looking good for an improvement over last years fourth place overall in the conference.”