By TJ Millman
The Milford Buccaneers Golf Team dropped a close match to Sussex Tech this past Monday by a score of 180-183, moving themselves to 6-6 on the season. The Bucs are a relatively young team, with only one senior on the squad, and are still working on building depth across the board.
“The biggest challenge that we run into is getting guys that have golf experience from day one. We have guys on our team that are literally just learning the game, and from day one we are just working on making contact. Those guys are coming a long way, and it’s great watching them get better, but right now I would say that is our biggest challenge as a program,” Milford Head Golf Coach Todd French said.
Milford is certainly a top-heavy team, being led by brothers Kyle Strassle (senior) and Josh Strassle (sophomore). The Strassle’s are Milford’s one and two golfers and are two of the better golfers in the Southern Henlopen Conference. Kyle and Josh had the two best scores on the day with a 39 and 43 respectively.
“Kyle and Josh are both really good golfers. What sets them apart right now is their mental strength. They both have a ton of ability, but Kyle’s age and maturity gives him the ability to shrug off a bad shot. He has really developed since his freshman year, and he has been a rock for this program. Josh has the potential to step right into his brother’s shoes for us, but as a sophomore he is still growing. This game is grueling mentally, and once he gets the hang of that side of the game he is going to be a major asset to us going forward,” French said.
One thing that really stood out during the match was French’s upbeat attitude toward his golfers. Coaches can only talk to golfers between holes, but French was always there to crack a smile and offer encouragement to his athletes.
“Golf is one of those games where you go out there and you have a chance to hit maybe one or two really good shots on the day. For the most part, unless you’re a pro, it’s a lot of making good contact and then seeing how close you end up to your spot. We want our guys to realize that we don’t have to be amazing golfers to win the match, we just need to keep our heads and play to the best of our ability, whatever that may be,” French said.
French is also happy with the youth of his team. “Outside of Kyle, who will be a big blow, we are getting our whole team back. We have some guys outside of Josh who are really improving their game. (Junior) Jordan Cleveland, (sophomore) Nick Ruczynski, (sophomore) Dominic Feightner, and (freshman) Ben Hamilton are all developing really well and will be back to help us with next season,” French said.
Though Milford is out of the running for the South, having dropped close matches to both Indian River and Delmar on the road, the Bucs have a good chance to end the season with a winning record with upcoming matches against Woodbridge and Laurel.
Milford’s next match is away at Heritage Shores against Woodbridge on Tuesday, May 8 at 3:30 PM.
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