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After only losing one golfer, the Dinos bring a lot of experience back to the course. The blue and white will feature four seniors this year, including Bode Salas, who was the 3A State Champion as a sophomore. While Salas will be hunting for another state championship, the Dinos will look to reclaim the region title and put together solid rounds at state. Their main region opponent, the Wildcats, have won the last two region titles, leaving Carbon determined to get back on top.
“Us and Richfield are going to be really competitive this entire season,” assistant coach Ryker Smith said. “We pretty much have our same team, and the kids we do have, have gotten better. One in particular is Kyler Clark. I think he’s one kid that’s really going to help our team. He’s made a huge jump… Cole Yoklavich and Garrett Garner are going to have good years… [and] Cole Callahan will be with Kyler for most improved player.”
A strength of the team is its long game, but Smith believes there is some buttoning up to do around the green. “Overall, the team [is full of] really good ball strikers. We keep it in play really well. I think the thing we need to work on the most is our short game.” He reiterated, “Tee to green, they’re really good. They hit the driver really well, their irons and approach shots are really good. If they do miss a green and they have to chip, that’s kinda where they’re lacking.”
When most kids first pick up a club, they immediately hit the driving range, so Smith is not surprised that the team’s short game could use improvement. “That’s pretty typical. Most people that play golf, that’s the thing they don’t like to practice… That’s definitely going to be this entire year, the focus of the team is its short game,” added Smith.
Expectations are certainly high for Carbon as they enter the season. If the Dinos can show improvement with their putting and chipping, the sky’s the limit for this team. “If we can focus on short game and course management, I think we should be the best team,” concluded Smith. “They don’t have to do anything special to be the best team. If they just play their games, that should be enough.”