Where there’s smoke there’s fire. And in the case of the Indian River varsity golf team, they are a blazing inferno.
The team has won six straight matches — eight of their last nine — and has improved their record to 10-4 on the season.
“If we can win our last two matches — which we should — we’ll be the Southern champs and we’ll be on track to go to states,” said Head Coach Neil Beahan.
The Indians traveled to Milford on May 5 to whip up on that team 171-195 and defeated Seaford on May 10 by a similar score of 173-197.
The Indians have shown drastic improvement from the previous season, in which they only won four matches. Beahan says there isn’t anything new to which their success can be attributed — except for good old-fashioned hard work.
“Our team is the same, just a little older and a little better,” said Beahan.
The team shooting average has been trimmed by 12 shots, from 180 to 168.
Team scores have risen slightly after low-shooting matches against Dover and Milford (157, 154).
“I’ve had the guys hitting from a farther tee. Their team average is only three strokes higher, so overall it will make them better — especially going into the postseason,” said Beahan.
Beahan’s players have adapted to the longer course and understand its importance if they are to succeed in the postseason.
“Playing a longer course has been more difficult but it has prepared us for the top competition in states and in conferences,” said sophomore Richard Webster.
Webster shot a 42 against Milford and 44 against Seaford, which is slightly higher than his 40 stroke average.
Junior Justin Albright continues to excel and led his pack with a score of 41 in both matches. Senior Captain Jordan Hale shot 44 in both matches, while Matt Binested and Craig Conover also both shot 44 in their only match of the week (against Milford and Seaford, respectively).
While the Indians continue to improve, they haven’t had a serious threat in any of their matches.
“Next year, I’m going to see if we can play the better teams at the end of the season. Sussex Tech just played Cape (Henlopen), Dover and Polytech, while we had to play them at the beginning of the season,” said Beahan.
If and when the Indians win the remaining two matches of the regular season (Smyrna on May 12 and Seaford on May 17), they would be the front-runners for the North versus South match.
That match is set for Baywood Greens at a time to be announced. The first round of the Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association (DIAA) golf tournament will be held on May 31, with the second round the next day at a site to be determined.