MTC Teams Pic 2.jpg

Photo by Carl Ankenbrand

Hoopeston Area High School golfers are introduced during the recent Meet the Cornjerkers fall sports preview.

Hoopeston Area High School golfers traveled to Harrison Park to take on Westville Aug. 26.

Westville defeated Hoopeston Area 236-317.

Owen Johnson led the Cornjerkers in scoring with 77, followed closely by Trevor Swartz with a 78. Deegan Leslie and Trent Betka each shot an 81.

Weather impeded the girls’ golf meet as Alyssa Yaden was the only golf able to finish the course before the meet was called.

Hoopeston Area traveled to Willow Pond the following day to take on Rantoul and Fisher.

Trevor Swartz shot a 60 while Deegan Leslie had a 64, Trent Betka had a 67 and Owen Johnson shot a 68.

Swartz was the meet medalist.

Neither Fisher nor Rantoul fielded a girls’ team, but Hoopeston Area golfers still competed during the meet.

Alyssa Yaden shot a 50, while Payton Armstrong had a 57. Kylie Brown had a 60 and Madison Foster shot a 67.

Head Coach Dylan Swank said several of his players shot career low scores during the meet. These included Yaden, Swartz and Armstrong.

Swank spoke with The Chronicle about his team Thursday and said that he is seeing steady improvements among his golfers at each meet.

Currently, the team has nine members, five boys and four girls, and is mostly composed of underclassmen.

“I feel like I’ve been saying for the last three years that we have a young team, but this year it’s probably the most true,” Swank said.

The team is young and inexperienced, with only a few returning golfers from last season, but Swank said the new golfers are picking up the game quickly and show promise.

“We have one returning senior, Alyssa Yaden, who has really just gotten exponentially better over the course of the last couple of years, so we’re excited to watch her this year,” Swank said. “We have Madison Foster, who is another senior girl who is coming out for the first time and has shown some real talent. Outside of that, we’re exclusively underclassmen.”

He said these underclassmen are largely new to the game, but are quickly picking it up and using their experience in other sports to help develop their golf skills.

“We’re teaching fundamentals and a lot of these kids are in other sports programs and that’s been paying off for us because, boy, those kids are catching on pretty quickly,” Swank said. “We’ve had three meets thus far this year and each meet, with the exception of one where the weather was playing some tricks on us, we’ve lowered our scores pretty drastically.”

Swank is eager to see how the team continues to progress as the season goes on.

“I’m excited to see what this team can do this year,” he said. “Even though they’re young right now, they’ve already shown pretty great strides in the last few weeks.”