Milford knocks down Indian River on the links
Shawnee Country Club, site of the Milford varsity golf team, served as the site for the first loss of the season for Indian River High School’s golf team this past Monday, April 4. After a 4-0 start through the end of March, the Indians were caught off-guard by a steady Milford team, which dished up a 172-186 final score to Indian River. This was the Indians’ first match all season in which they failed to shoot a combined 177 strokes or less.
“Statistically,” said Indian River head coach Paris Mitchell, “it was the worst day that we had shot all year. Just about everyone on our starting team shot their highest score. We’ve got to take less strokes, and that might mean going back to the basics.”
The Milford Buccaneers improved their overall season record to 4-2 on Monday, defeating both the Indians and Sussex Tech. Milford’s two losses came by way of Cape Henlopen and Caesar Rodney, wherein the Buccaneers shot 177 each time – a total that had sufficed as winning scores for the Indians in earlier outings.
“There’s no one individually that we’re blaming,” said Mitchell. “We just had a bad day. It was windy, but we can’t have any excuses.”
Mitchell said he is hoping that, with his team playing host at Cripple Creek for the next four matches, the strokes will fall in his favor.
“Our golfers have really concentrated on using our course as a plus for us,” he said. “We have started working on where the pin placements are and getting to where we need to be for approach shots.
“I’ve been stressing course management to our kids, and yesterday we just didn’t have it. We were in position to make a few pars and birdies, but we just couldn’t get our chips and putts to fall. That’s something we’re going to work on at practice.”
He noted that hitting low shots into the wind and keeping opening drives down the fairway were among the fundamentals of the game that his team would work on this week.
With the exception of the Milford match, starting golfers for the Indians have kept relatively low, consistent scores.
“Taylor Lewis has averaged the best score on the team,” said Mitchell. “Holden Wingate has the second-lowest score overall. We’re going to look for him to keep it going. Dominic Constantino and Matt Tribbett have had some good matches where they came through for us, too. They seem to be getting their swing back, and we’ll be looking for more things from them, too.”
The Indians were set to host Seaford this past Thursday, April 7, after Coastal Point press deadline, and will square off against Caesar Rodney and Delmar next week.
Mitchell noted that, with all of last year’s starters graduating from Seaford’s team, the Blue Jays are still in a rebuilding stage for their program. As long as his team can return to the consistent numbers they had put up earlier in the season, he said he expected to move ahead in the Henlopen South division with another victory.
Their true test, though, will come on Tuesday, April 12.
“Caesar Rodney is still the cream of the crop,” he added. “We’ll see what we can do by the time we face them. We’re still leading the Henlopen South division, and we’re, hopefully, aimed at that title. If we can get a little help from Milford, and they end up beating Caesar Rodney, we could get a rematch against them in the conference match. Until then, I think we’ll continue to get better. I believe we’re still right up there in the top three teams in the conference.”