Baker golf ready for spring season

Practice makes perfect, and the Baker men’s golf team is hoping it can have a perfect spring season by improving on its second-place finish in the 2008 conference season.

Coming off the fall season, sophomore Adam Taylor said the team has a lot of players competing for the top five spots, especially with the return of senior Chase Day and junior Jared Drummond.

“Those guys have seen varsity playing time in the past, so they will bring more competition amongst the team,” Taylor said.

Day and Drummond both sat out the fall season due to injuries.

Head coach Karen Exon said both the men’s and women’s teams have spent the past few months working out and preparing themselves for the upcoming meets.

Exon is a strong advocate of putting the student in student-athlete, and said she expects all her players to be focusing on school right now.

“I can’t be at practice with an individual or with the full team right now, so what I’ve expected them to do was make sure they were doing everything they were supposed to be doing and then some academically,” Exon said.

The women are coming off a third place finish in the Heart of America Athletic Conference tournament last spring.

Junior Amelia Harshfield returns to the team after a semester overseas, and said she is very excited to be back in competition.

“I really hope we can do better than we did last year at conference,” she said. “We’ve always been wanting to go to nationals and I think this year we can do it.”

Harshfield and her teammates have been spending time indoors working on the fundamentals of golf, she said.

“We have a hitting net in Mabee Gym that we can practice with and work on our fundamentals,” she said.

The Wildcats will be led by seniors Melissa Brown and Alicia Kortz.

Exon said over the break the team lost two players but were fortunate to gain Harshfield back.

“We lost a freshman who had some academic issues, but we hope to have her back in the fall,” Exon said.

Both teams will kick of their 2009 seasons on the Gulf Shores in Alabama. If the weather cooperates, the team will hit the golf course starting March 1.