Progress expected for CHS golf

Published 8:07 am Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Central High School Head Boys Golf Coach Tom Hoefer has not had many Charger golfers to work with in recent years, and while this year’s team remains small, he has confidence it can build on the performance of last year’s squad.

As a four-man team in 2015, the Chargers went 7-13, but finished second in the Conference 42 tournament with a team score of 425. The placement advanced them to the Region 1A East tournament, where they struggled, finishing second-to-last in the challenging field.

All but one member of that Central team returns this year on a squad now featuring five players.

Though he has two freshmen on his roster again, Hoefer said the other players have more experience.

“I expect to have a little better team this year than we did last year,” he said.

The Chargers’ regular season schedule is dominated by opponents from Group 2A, since those opponents make up the majority of the James River District. This makes for a challenging schedule for the 1A Chargers, but Hoefer said he thinks his team is probably going to show significant improvement from last year in the district.

Central will miss Tyler Hawks, the lone senior from last year’s team, but junior Cary Parrish and sophomores Joseph McDaniel and Thomas McDaniel enter the 2016 season with another year of experience. They are joined by freshmen Mason Elliott and Cole Williams.

Parrish, the No. 1 golfer for the Chargers last year, used his 6-foot-6-inch build to his advantage on the links.

Hoefer said Parrish is “not a real heavy guy, but that length helps him. He can really hit the ball,” and he has shown improvement since last season.

Parrish has received a challenge for the top spot in the preseason from Williams, an impressive newcomer, who participated in practices last year with the team, though he could not play for it as an eighth-grader.

“He plays lots of junior tournaments,” Hoefer said. “He injured his ankle in the beginning of the summer this year, and it kind of limited his play through the summer, but before then, he was playing in a lot of tournaments as an eighth-grader. And it looks like he’s quite capable of shooting in the low 40s every time we go out.”

Williams’ versatility with a club is what has helped him elevate his game.

“He’s got a lot of shots in his bag, so he plays a real smart game, doesn’t put himself in bad situations,” Hoefer said.

In identifying up-and-comers, the coach said Joseph McDaniel came on strong to end the 2015 season and looks for that to continue this year.

The promise and growth of his players has contributed to Hoefer’s optimism with how the season could proceed.

“And when we go to play in the conference tournament, I think we can do really good there this year,” he said. “I know we’ve got a couple of teams up there, Mathews and Middlesex, that are usually pretty good, but I think we can play on a par with them folks.”

Hoefer sees the possibility of either another top-two finish or even a conference tournament championship.

Central opens its season on Thursday at Amelia Golf & Country Club where it will face Amelia and Randolph-Henry.