Golf Team Gets Infusion of Youth with Addition of Talented Freshmen
Cody Allgor | Staff Writer & Chronicle Sports Staff
Freshman golfers AJ Wilhelm and Nathan Vonderhaar may be a little green, but that hasn’t prevented the two golfers from finding the greens on the Mason Comets varsity golf team.
Despite lacking high school experience these two talented freshman are no stranger to competitive golf, and their skills have both golfers off to a tremendous start to the season, averaging about 78 strokes per tournament.
It didn’t take long for these two long time friends to turn heads when each carded a 78 at the challenging St. Xavier Invitational.
It didn’t matter that it was only their second varsity match as the duo brought home medalist honors to lead the Comet team.
Team scoring leader, senior Matthew Scheid, believes these two freshman have the talent to help the team return to the Ohio High School Athletic Association state tournament not only this year, but for several seasons to come.
“The fact that we have freshmen on Varsity A just proves how skillful they are, they don’t know how good they are, you really don’t see that often” Scheid said. “Those two are insane. They’re going to go somewhere big with golf, they don’t get it yet.”
Lone junior Charlie Golski said that it is nice to rely on freshman when the upperclassmen do not play well, which has helped the Comets so far this year.
“If someone didn’t play well, you could always have Nate or AJ come in, and one of them usually played well,” Golski said. “And that’s always a good thing to have, especially when you have four other upperclassmen on the team.”
A huge part of Wilhelm and Vonderhaar’s success comes from practice — where things can get pretty competitive.
Vonderhaar said that since his golf game is so close to Wilhelm, they push each other to be better over the summer.
“Over the summer I played against AJ, pretty much every day, at Heritage – our local club” Vonderhaar said. “We’re so close that we both want to beat each other. I feel even though I get mad, him beating me pushes me to get better.”
In golf, where there are all forms of unwritten rules and loads of etiquette, Wilhelm said these two still aren’t afraid to talk a little trash when they’re out on the course.
“On the course, it’s more of like fun banters,” Wilhelm said. “Say you hit like a shank, you just destroy them for a good two holes and then you guys are back to friends, it’s trash talking put to the extreme, but it really makes us better”
Vonderhaar said that being on Varsity now is good for the future because they will not be as surprised going into bigger tournaments, and they will have much more control over their nerves.
“The experiences of these events and playing in the top five, the experience helps,” Vonderhaar said. “Next year, going into these events, we won’t be as nervous as we’ll have the experience almost like a junior or sophomore.”
Scheid said that before they become leaders, Vonderhaar and Wilhelm need to continue to developing their game as well as learn from the leadership of this year’s upperclassmen.
But for now, the team is just happy to have these spirited underclassmen firing for the pin and recording low scores.
“It’s great to have young guys on our team with this much talent,” Scheid said. “And it’s awesome that they’re also so much fun and keep us on our toes. “
Photo by Mia Sweitzer.