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Relying on experience… Elizabethton boys golf have good shot at strong season on the links

BY IVAN SANDERS
STAR SPORTS EDITOR
ivan.sanders@elizabethton.com
Whenever the Elizabethton boys golf team takes to the links this season there is a very good chance that the Cyclones will finish toward the top in any tournament they play in.
The reason according to head coach Zachary Ensor is pretty clear.
“We are an experienced team lead by juniors and seniors,” Ensor said. “Each has the ability to shoot good scores.
“We will need to have each player collectively contribute as a team to advance in those tournaments.”
To date, the Cyclones have relied on the hot play of junior Carson Peters who has consistently fired at or near par in each tournament played.
Peters isn’t the only Cyclone that has played well in early tournaments as others will be counted on heavily to carry the team this season.
“Junior Carson Peters returns this year after qualifying as an individual for the regional tournament last year,” Ensor added. “He and junior Caleb Tipton have really worked on their games this offseason.
“Both of those juniors are lead by a talented group of seniors around them. Cooper Tipton has always been solid and continues to improve.  Padraig Murphy has made a tremendous jump and is really playing well right now.  Seniors Kerry Williams and Brayden Phillips have each stepped up as well.”
Ensor added that for the Cyclones to be successful on the season, it would be based upon their ability to be consistent.
​”We need to be more consistent from top to bottom in the lineup,” he said. “We have stressed to try not to make two mistakes in a row, have a short-term memory and move on to next shot.”
Being able to put mistakes behind will definitely play a huge role especially with the competition stacked up against the Cyclones in the region.
Ensor evaluated the conference.
​”Science Hill,  Dobyns Bennett, and Tennessee High all have great teams and are well-coached,” stated Ensor. “There are several other quality teams and individuals throughout the conference.
“All of the state qualifiers from our region last year came from our conference, so we will have to bring our game to every match.”
Ensor feels like his team knows his expectations and what is asked of them each time they go out which is key going forward.
He was asked if as a coach he puts pressure on himself when it comes to each match and how to effectively help each player that he coaches.
“Obviously everyone wants to be successful, but the way a coach carries themselves will show up in their team,” commented Ensor. “This game has a lot of pressure and a ton of individual pressure.
“I have to be able to be the calming factor for the team.  At the end of the day I want to be able to help my team be the best they can be and I put pressure on myself to be able to help them however I can.”
The coach’s expectation for his team is very simple saying, “I feel like we can make the regional tournament as a team if we play as a team.”
When asked what word he would use to describe the 2020 Cyclone boys golf team the word that came to mind was experienced.
“These boys have been in many different situations and know what to expect as we progress throughout the season,” said Ensor. “They also know how to really enjoy playing and being around one another which makes my job great.”
Finally, Ensor was presented with the question in regard to what he would consider a successful season for 2020 would encompass.
​”We continue to improve and get better as the season progresses,” Ensor stated. “Our goal is to hit our stride come district tourney time but we can only control our scores.
“We haven’t really looked at other team’s scores this year and really are focusing on improving each time out.”