Golfers enjoying the game

Chipping and putting competitions in practice are a fundamental part of the training the young, inexperienced Emmett High golf team are undergoing this spring.

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Last season, the Emmett golf team was poised to make a run at a State title. With its entire roster returning from a fifth place finish the year before, the Huskies were teed up and ready to swing for gold. Then COVID-19 hit and the season was scrapped, and the careers of four seniors aborted.

That means only returning senior Colton Sisk has logged significant rounds of competitive golf as the 2021 version of Emmett High Golf gets underway. Sisk appears to be challenging for individual opportunities at State this year but the balance of the team is either new to the game or at least new to competitive play.

“It was quite a blow for that senior group that had worked so hard from their freshman year on,” coach David Lileks said. “At least they had some good experiences as well and golf is a game that you don’t leave behind with graduation.”

Trying to instill that love of the game and the life-long nature of the sport is forefront for Lileks as his new talent is getting a grip on the game.

“We have to focus on the basics and keep it fun,” Lileks said. “We have had to make some adjustments on our course availability this year and that has been a factor but we have two full teams out here everyday learning and getting better.”

By two full teams, Lileks is referring to the fact that Emmett High has a full girls team this spring. While Emmett has had a stellar State girl competitor in Jessica Lyter a few years ago, it has never had the five or six golfers needed to field a team. This year that is different led by returner Annika Robbins.

The team doesn’t have use of the River Birch Golf Course for much more than driving range privileges this year. That means the majority of the practice rounds will be over the 9-hole City of Emmett course by the Airport. While it is not conducive for learning the club choices that a full-length competition course may provide, Lileks says it is sufficient for working on the fundamentals of the game which for the majority of this year’s teams that’s the long and short of it all.

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