Indian River shoots blanks against Dover

Two weeks ago, Indian River’s golf team wasted Milford and Delmar by a combined 58 strokes, heading into a lengthy Easter holiday break. Head Coach Neal Beahan handed his players the responsibility of staying on top of their game over the 13-day hiatus, in preparation for the team’s big match against the (5-0) Dover Senators at the Mapledale Country Club.

Dover, like Caesar Rodney, Cape Henlopen and, recently, Sussex Tech and Indian River, have established themselves as the elite programs in the conference. But competing against each other would demand a higher level of play.

Indian River (6-3) didn’t own up to the conference clamor and shot its worst round of the season in a 169-181 loss to Dover on April 25.

“We bellied up,” Beahan said. “We shot our worst round of the season and so did they, in a ‘battle of the uglies.’” The team’s previous worst was 175. “Forty-one was our best round of the day and that is 5 over par. That isn’t good enough to give us a chance against the top teams.”

“I told them that this match was determined last week over vacation,” Beahan continued. “They talk like they want to the best but don’t go out and do it. They need to go out and show me in practice and stop going through the motions.”

Beahan mentioned that his players readily admitted not playing over the break, despite having the run of the course at Cripple Creek. At this point in the season, Indian River has an identical record to last year but that’s not where Beahan thinks they should be.

According to the coach, “6-3 is a solid record and we’ll still win the South, but it is not exactly where we want to be,” he said. “We haven’t improved. We have more talent but we don’t have the discipline. I don’t think they appreciate how much work it takes to be good.”

Beahan wants better golf but he can’t make his players get better — they have to want it or, better yet, someone has to step up, take the reins and ownership of the team — for the betterment of the whole.

“I’m waiting for someone to step up as the team leader and say, ‘This isn’t good enough,’” Beahan concluded late Tuesday evening.