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High school boys golf team ready, hungry for wins



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The golf team warms up in the pleasent weather and on the driving range at Boulder Pointe Golf Course in Oxford. Photo G. Ouzounian (click for larger version)

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The golf team warms up in the pleasent weather and on the driving range at Boulder Pointe Golf Course in Oxford. Photo G. Ouzounian (click for larger version)
April 18, 2012 - Spring is here, the bees and birds are out and the golfers are out on the courses once again.

The boys of the Lake Orion High School High School are not exception and the team, consisting almost entirely of returners, is aiming for a state championship.

"Last year we were six and one in the league, won the OAA Red Division title, won the district championship and finished on shot away from qualifying for state finals," said Golfing Head Coach Monty Gallaher. "We're not going to let that affect us this year. You have a bad hole and it doesn't matter - you have to be able to forget and move forward."

Returners include seniors Tyler Draggoo and Ryan McKeon, juniors Mason Gorris, Casey VanDerGraff and Alexander Waelchii, sophomores Griffin Beeler and Ben Gorcyca and freshman Schuyler Werth. Of these, Gallaher's top scorers are Waelchi, Gorris, Draggoo and Beeler, though he was quick to say the whole team is scoring better. Dedication is also paramount on the team and ouside of Werth the golfers on the team have only ever golfed.

"My whole team is really dedicated - everyone here specializes in golf," said Gallaher. "They all tried to travel during the offseason to play, they all stay really focused and they're just always out on the course.

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"They call them range rats because it's hard to get them away from the course. They're always looking to improve, they listen, they try new things and they're not set in their ways which is rare for kids this age. They are well rounded and accept criticism and really, that's how you get better."

Draggoo was named to the position of team captain this year and Gallaher said the senior leads by example. In his spare time he's either out on the course or working at the country club.

The team participated in two skrimmages, one game and one tournament in 2012, and while they fell just behind Cranbrooke and Clarkston on April 9, they defeated Davison on April 12 152-155. Gorris (36), Waelchii (38), Draggoo (38) and Beeler (40) were the top scorers.

The tournement last Saturday saw the Dragons take on the other five teams in the OAA Red Division - Clarkston, Troy, Rochester, Adams and Stoney Creek. Yet whatever the outcome, Gallaher always teaches his team to learn from mistakes.

"The one thing I always preach to them is that you cannot worry about the outcome because you have no control over it," he said. "You have to focus on the process because once you hit that ball the rest is out of your hands; it's gone. I think that is always the hardest part for golfers."

The golfers will take their strokes again this Saturday in an invitational against Seaholm at noon on Indianwood Golf Course.

They will play again on April 23 in a tournament against Seaholm on Indianwood's old course.

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