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As his team teed off in its season opener on Aug. 4, Grant County boys' golf coach Lance Robinson took a moment to reflect on the past.
"I have anticipated this for a while. I am anxious to see how the kids react after advancing to the state tournament last year as a team," Robinson said.
Robinson also pondered the departure of Jeremy Martin, a golfer who had played for Robinson almost all of his tenure. Martin, who won the regional tournament last year, has since graduated and will play for Northern Kentucky University this season.
"Personally, it's like seeing my kid go off to college, he had been with me for that long. It's a little weird to look out there and not see Jeremy," Robinson said.
Despite the loss of its top golfer, Grant County brings back a wealth of talent, beginning with sophomore Zach Wright and freshman Tim Livingood, both of whom tasted success during the summer tournament season. Both golfers won several tournaments this summer.
Other golfers include: sophomore Matt Ferguson, senior Jared Livingood and sixth grader Cody Kellam.
"We'll get better as the season progresses. It is hard to replace a player like Jeremy, and we will be a younger team that will see its share of ups and downs this season, but I like our chances. I think we still have a bulls-eye on our backs," Robinson said.
Robinson acknowledged this season could be tough in the sense that he will not have Martin's experience to lean on this fall.
"It was pretty nice, as a coach, to know you had a senior who would provide a steady score every time out, but well have to take our wounds. We are playing a tough schedule with the intent of getting better because of it. We have four solid golfers and a nice young player in Cody," Robinson said.
Robinson hopes the addition of a junior varsity team will help aid in the process of building a contender for the future.
In addition, the Braves hope early success will translate into confidence and a run at the regional championship and another berth in the KHSAA state tournament.
"Our goal is to get better as a team. Every year, we want to go to state. If you get four good scores, you never know what could happen," Robinson said.
When his team is not playing matches, they are working on their game with members of Eagle Creek County Club, something Robinson said is vital to his team's advancement.
"I want to thank Eagle Creek and its members. Our success wouldn't be possible without them. They support us a ton and we are very appreciative of it," Robinson said.