New coach plans on making golf bigger at Bryant
The outdoor temperatures have been hovering around the mid-90s for months now.
Grass has been burned to a crisp, trees have changed colors, and rivers and streams have dried to a mere dirt box.
But none of that seems to be slowing down the very talented golf teams from Bryant High School.
Bryant is under the leadership of newly hired head coach Keith Dale.
This is not Dale’s first rodeo either.
He has coached at El Dorado, Arkadelphia, Jessieville, and Southern Arkansas University before moving his talents and knowledge to Bryant.
But can he change things and keep his teams moving forward like former head coach Jim Pennington?
That is still to be seen.
Last season the boys team had two finish in the top 20 in the state.
Now juniors Tyler Green and Austin Harman have led the Hornets to 6th- and 16th-place finishes in the singles group. Green posted a two-day total of 155 while Harman followed with a 167.
Rival Cabot took home the team title last season with a combined score of 623 for the two days.
The Lady Hornets missed the cut after day one and were sent home.
But this is a new year and Dale and the rest of his teams are hoping they can be competitive and go deep into the state tournament once again.
“I think being on a new course will help us be successful,” Dale said. “(Hurricane) is a very technical course.”
The Hornets are still being led by Green.
His ability to get to the putting surface makes him tough to beat, according to Dale.
“He is very good at getting to the green in as few shots as possible,” Dale said.
“He comes off of the tee-box really well with a lot of control on the ball. He is able to finish well.”
Green shot a 6-under 30 on Monday during practice.
Green also finished first in his match against Sheridan on Tuesday with a 1-over 37.
The Lady Hornets are being led by sophomore Peyton Weaver heading into 2011.
“She is a very strong player and a very good technical player,” Dale said.
“Peyton is very mentally tough at her game.”
Weaver usually averages around 5-over on nine holes according to Dale.
Weaver also finished first on Tuesday, posting a 9-hole total of 42.
The goals for both teams are the exact same — “get going,” Dale said.
“I want to get some of the younger players involved and instill the love of the game.”
Luckily for Dale, most of the younger players already have that desire to play and win.
But if Bryant plans to win state this year, it will have some stiff competition to go through.
“Fayetteville usually has a very tough team,” Dale said.
“Their top four guys usually shoot par or below.”
Dale says that Cabot is still the team to beat in the conference.
As for the girls’ side, it’s Conway.
According to Dale, Conway has a girl that could be top in the State.
“She is a very good play,” Dale said. He said she shot a 69 during the last tournament.
“To shoot under par is very tough to do,” Dale said.
If Bryant plans on getting to day two of the State Tournament this season, they are going to have to battle with some tough schools throughout the state.
Bryant is set to take on Lake Hamilton at Glenwood Country Club today.