By TJ Millman
Milford’s Golf Team has flown under the radar recently as one of Milford’s top sports. After a 12-5 finish last season Head Coach Todd French is not looking for anything less this year. While he acknowledges that duplicating such a record would be difficult, he also said, “Our team goal is to improve on last year’s overall record. We lost two matches to opponents in the South last year, and this year we want to go undefeated in the South.” Milford’s toughest opponent looks to be Delmar, who defeated Milford last year by a score of 178-199 in a match where the best individual performer was Milford’s Kyle Strassle.
Strassle, a junior for Milford this year, is not only the best golfer on the Milford team but is also one of the best golfers in the Southern Conference. According to his Head Coach, Strassle is poised to have a very big year. “He puts in the work all year long, and he will be reaping the benefits of his hard work and dedication this year,” he said.
The rest of the team is made up of seniors Kyle Barbutes, Jace Darling, Matthew Mitzel, sophomore Dillon Johnson, freshman Nicholas Ruczynski, and freshman Joshua Strassle. Experience levels vary across the team, but French feels that Milford’s team is certainly full of talent. The biggest obstacle so far this year has been the weather. The cold and wet conditions have made practices for the Bucs few and far between, and the team’s first match on March 23 will be on a limited amount of practice time. The match is against Sussex Tech and will be a tough match for the Bucs. Last year’s match between the Bucs and the Ravens ended in a win for Tech by only seven strokes.
One area that Milford Golf has always excelled in is as a developmental program. Over the years many of Milford’s golfers have come from other sports, and it can be rare to have a golfer on the team who has been golfing before they reached high school. While this may be a challenge for most programs, Milford has always done a wonderful job of developing golfers. The fun and encouraging atmosphere is excellent for any player who is looking to learn the game of golf. While a practice mostly consists of playing through as many holes as possible, the newer golfers are also given a lot of direction regarding basic golf fundamentals.
The encouragement on the team does not only come from the coaches, but also from the team members as well. Golf can feel like an individual sport, especially on a game day. You are, after all, responsible for your own score. Still, Milford’s Golf Team is not a group of individuals. Rather, they are a cohesive unit with the goal of improvement at the forefront of their program. Milford’s Golf Team will do what they always do. They will show up, play solid, competitive golf, and they will do it without the recognition that they deserve.
Sign up for you free digital subscription of The Weekly Review, delivered directly to your email every Tuesday morning. A quick cover-to-cover read to catch up on the news of the week and experience great stories about our local communities. Sign up for your free email subscription below.