Experienced Bearcats ready to finally take to course
     2013-04-04      By Terry Gaston    sports@geringcitizen.com
Photo by Elizabeth Gross/ Gering Citizen - The Scottsbluff boys golf team front row from left: Sean Mercer-Smith, Koy Polthoff, Andrew Holloway, Curtis Welsh; back row from left, Bryce Meier, Craig Smith, Brandon White, Coach Mike Klein, Michael Hadden and Jared Pilkington. 
While the Scottsbluff boys’ golf team was set to open its season Tuesday, as were other teams, the Sidney officials in charge of the Red Raiders’ invitational decided last week to postpone the meet one day because of conflicts that included Easter holidays.

So the Bearcats, who actually were expected to have better weather Wednesday than they would have Tuesday, took to Hillside Golf Course to finally open what could be a banner season for Scottsbluff.

"We've had so much going on, the weather hasn't been that great, so we'll see what happens," second-year Scottsbluff boys' coach Mike Klein said Monday night.

The Bearcats enter 2013 with high hopes after Scottsbluff finished fifth in the Class B State Tournament last spring. Last season marked a year in which a wealth of young talent bloomed behind two-time state medalist Andrew Holloway, who won state medalist honors as a freshman in 2010.

Holloway finished seventh at state as a sophomore and fifth as a junior, while Michael Hadden claimed 12th place as a junior last year.

Second-year Scottsbluff boys' coach Mike Klein, while glad to have the senior leadership in Holloway and Hadden, said the Bearcats' successes as a team should be strong with a now-experienced group of younger players.

"We're not all about just the two seniors," Klein said. "Koy Pothoff put in tons of work over the summer, and Curtis Welsch played a lot as well." Welsch finished 31st in last spring's state tournament and Pothoff came in 46th.

Battling for the Bearcats' fifth spot in the varsity ladder include a pair of freshmen in Jonah Wright and Jared Pilkington. Juniors Alex Harbach and Brandon White also look to gain varsity action.

"Jonah has been shooting in the 70s," Klein said of the Bearcats' practice rounds. "Jared is right there as well."

Klein said the great competition even in practice will definitely help the experienced Bearcats meld with the younger team members.

"The thing is there's always somebody else around," Klein said. "And that's good, it will keep everybody honest and they will keep working hard."

After Wednesday's meet at Sidney, the Bearcats will be in the Cheyenne Invitational on Friday. Scottsbluff's junior varsity will be at Mitchell on Tuesday, while the varsity will be off until Gothenburg's meet on April 18. The Scottsbluff Invitational will be April 22.

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