Wheeling invite presents first major challenge

Wheeling invite presents first major challenge

It’s no secret that boys golf has big shoes to fill after last year’s state final, but the guidance from the senior captains is giving the Kits an edge this season.

ETHS will be competing in the Wheeling Invitational at Chevy Chase Country Club on Saturday. This tournament is the first big tournament of the season, with 25 teams competing.

“This match gives us a good indication of where our team is at this point in the year and where we stack up against the top teams in the state,” said coach Jed Curtis. “I would like to see us place in the top half.”

The course in Wheeling is similar to the course that hosts the state tournament, so coach Curtis is looking for his veterans to set the tone, specifically senior captains Bill Nondorf and Sam Knepper.

“Bill and Sam are returning members of the state team from last year and by far the two that have the most experience,” said coach Curtis.

“They have played all these tournaments before and there is a maturity level to their game that really stands out.”

Both of the captains are also reliable when it comes to putting up good scores. Knepper and Nondorf shot a 40 and a 41 respectively vs. Niles West, which largely contributed to the win.

“The focus for this season is to put up four solid scores in each tournament. I am very confident that our other players can rise to the occasion and put up two solid scores,” said captain Sam Knepper, senior. “Even though the rest of the players are not as experienced, they are definitely playing at a high caliber now.”

Knepper was the front-runner for the Kits in their opening match against Wheaton, with a score of 37 that was just one over par. Others on the team are finding inspiration from him to improve their own play.

“The captains are great role models. Aside from being great golfers, they are very supportive of all players in the program, and they are positive both on and off the course,” said freshman Matthew Barbato.