CHURCH HILL – Good numbers, youth and an ace make up Volunteer’s 2019 golf team.
With 11 boys and six girls, there is no shortage of players who can score for the Falcons during matches.
“It’s good that people are coming out to play,” said Volunteer coach Lucas Armstrong.
Some of those scores may be high, however, as Volunteer boasts only one senior this year.
“We just need more experience,” Armstrong said.
One of those player’s scores will likely to be low, though, as Volunteer’s Jon Wesley Lovelace is known beyond Northeast Tennessee as a special talent on the golf course.
“Jon Wes has been playing well,” said Armstrong. “He played a lot this summer.”
The sophomore’s play has gotten the attention of Ole Miss, Vanderbilt and Middle Tennessee State, among others.
“Jon Wes plays a lot of tournaments. It’s kind of what you’ve got to do if you want to really focus on it,” Armstrong said.
Lovelace, who led the Falcons as a freshman last year, returns as Volunteer’s No. 1 boys player. Noah Gillespie is No. 2.
Ty Evans, Brody Cloud, Zach Taylor and Gabe Goode compete for the next three seeds. “It’s kind of depending on how they play,” Armstrong said.
“We’ve had a couple guys who are shooting high 30’s and low 40’s if they play well. It really helps out. It’s been better this year,” Armstrong said.
With all the youth, the Falcons are hoping to build a promising program. More help is on the way.
“Next year, I’ve got three boys coming from the middle school who are going to help a lot,” the coach said.
A basketball team member and state qualifier on the swim team, Tinsley Whalen, the team’s lone senior, leads the girls team.
Hannah Stewart, Whalen and Julie Mowell are the Lady Falcons’ top three seeds.
“They’ve been consistently top three,” Armstrong said. “Hannah just started playing last year, but she’s coming along really well. We’re still really young.”
Gradual improvement and gaining experience are usually the goals for a young team.
“It’d be nice to make it to district as a team,” Armstrong said. “It will be tough because there are some other good teams this year. But we just need to keep working and getting more experience.
“They’ve got to want to be able to do it on their own because golf is just a different sport. It’s not like basketball or football with team practice. It’s more on your own,” Armstrong said.