Preseason Primer: Pam Pack golf coach Kozuch talks season
Published 1:24 pm Thursday, March 3, 2016
A fourth-place finish in the 2-A state golf championship is going to be tough to follow, especially considering what Washington lost from last year’s top-notch group. Nevertheless, the Pam Pack raised the bar last season and has some pretty lofty goals this year, too.
In addition to a top-four finish at states, Washington won the 2-A Eastern Plains Conference and the eastern regional championship. The belief this season is that the boys can at least repeat as conference champions again.
Here’s what coach Jim Kozuch had to say about the beginning of the golf season:
On what the team lost from last year:
“We lost a lot. We lost our No. 1 and 2 golfers. Our one and two were Peter Birdsong and William Page. The two of those guys shot high 70s consistently. I think they averaged 79 for the year, both of them. It’s a little bit different this year, but we’ve got a solid core.”
On who he expects to step up:
“Well, we’ve got Eric Lovenberg and Tony Lovenberg back. They’re both very good golfers. They’re both shooting low 80s. They’re coming off their state championship in swimming, so they’re bringing a little leadership, I hope. Tony’s the club champion at Cypress Landing. If he puts it together — toward the end of last year, he was shooting mid-to-high 70s. Eric, right now, is shooting right at 80. He’s a good golfer, as well.
“We’ve got some younger guys that need to step up now. Blake Parker is in the top-five this year. He’s a good golfer.”
On the experience of going to states last year:
“I think they can build on it a lot. There’s several ways to get back to the state championship. You can get back as a team or you can get back as an individual. I think that, this year, I don’t think we’re at the same point as we ended the season last year.
“I think, last year, at the beginning of the season, we were possibly shooting better than we were at the end of the season. Hopefully, this year, we can round out our game and peak at the end of the season. I think we peaked a little too soon last year. … I think there’s a of pieces and, with a little bit of help, there’s a chance we can get back there still.”
On expectations for the season:
“To be honest, if we’re out there playing everyday like we are, we expect nothing but to at least start off by winning the conference championship. There’s a lot that we have to make up for from last year, but there’s a chance. We’re out there everyday playing.
“We are out there to have fun, but we’re out there to win. Just like any sport, if you put more time in, you get more out of it. In golf, it’s really important that you put the time in. The guys are putting in the time and they’re getting better.”