The Collinsville boys golf team entered the 2012 season with its share of question marks, but second-year coach Dan Munoz also had reason for optimism.
Collinsville was 12-3 in dual matches in 2011, playing some of its best golf at the end of the year. Some of the players who led the way for the Kahoks have graduated, but a solid group of varsity veterans remains.
“Last year was a big success, being my first year,” Munoz said. “I kind of fell into a good thing with the departure of (former coach) Garry Henson, who left with me a great team. We had guys like Adam Garcia, Branden Henson and Zach Gibbs, and we qualified for the sectional as a team.
“We had some really good moments throughout the year and gradually got better. We had some guys step up for us, including Keenai Sampson and Jordan Bost.”
Garcia, Henson and Gibbs graduated along with Chad Eversmann, but Bost returns as a senior, while Sampson is a junior. Seniors Zac Warner and Matt Sockoch also have varsity experience.
“We don’t have much depth, so if any of those four guys are having a bad day, it kinds of wrecks the whole match,” Munoz said. “Austin Campbell is the other senior, and we’re looking at two sophomores, Caleb Mayhew and Andrew Rawdon.
“There’s not much margin for error, but as long as the guys are out here learning and getting better, I have no problem with that.”
Collinsville opened the season with a solid performance in a win over Jerseyville but struggled in a loss to Alton. The Kahoks also played in the St. Anthony’s Invitational, the Alton Redbird Classic and the Quincy Invitational. The Madison County Tournament at Gateway was rained out on Aug. 16.
“We’re not going to be the team that we were last year, but that’s in the past,” Munoz said. “Our goal is to do well in the (Southwestern) conference and do well in the regional and hopefully qualify for the sectional.
“These guys put in some work during the offseason, and Keenai Sampson had a really good summer. Jordan also played some tournaments, and having some contact days in the summer helped a lot, too.
“In tournaments, we’ve been in the middle of the pack, but for a lot of guys other than Keenai and Jordan, this is their first tournament experience. I expect them to keep improving,”