WAUSEON — The Wauseon golf team is built to win.
With four returners from last year’s team which finished eighth at the Division II state boys tournament, there's plenty of reasons for optimism for the Indians, who captured Northwest Ohio Athletic League and district championships in 2012.
“I feel really good about this group,” said Mike Marshall, who is in his 22nd season as Wauseon coach. “They have high expectations. They know what it takes. You’ve got to be good, but you’ve got to have a little luck, too.”
Talent and experience are definitely in place.
All but one member of last year’s team are back.
Trevor Dominique, a junior who has finished as medalist in three of six invitationals this season, leads the way along with Clay Tefft, the only senior on the team and a medalist twice this year.
Dominique, a lefty, heads the team with a nine-hole scoring average of 36.50 while also owning a team-best tournament average of 76.50. Tefft is averaging 39.25 and 76.83.
Marshall said he’s confident with either player serving as the team’s lead golfer.
“I say we have two No. 1s,” Marshall said.
Dominique said he played every day this summer to try and improve. If he wasn’t competing in a tournament, he was on a course or driving range working on his mechanics.
He earned the Toledo Junior Golf Association player of the year and won four events this summer.
“That was awesome because I looked up to the guys who had won it the previous years,” he said. “It’s really cool to be in that list of guys who had won it in the past.”
If he had any doubts about his game, winning was a big boost.
“It really helped my confidence, especially playing in some of the bigger tournaments this summer,” Dominique said. “No matter where I go, I know I’ve played with players just as good and I never get intimidated.”
Tefft, who is also playing with a greater amount of confidence this year, said the Indians are also learning how to play under more pressure.
“Returning with four or five good golfers from last year, there's a little bit of pressure to go back to state,” Tefft said. “Other teams are going to look at you and think, ‘They made it down there last year and they only lost one player, so they should be able to do it again.’ ”
So far the Indians have handled the pressure, winning 76 of 91 individual matches this season.
David Williams, a junior, and Brady Rupp, a sophomore, were also instrumental in last year’s run to state. Williams had a two-day total of 176 at state, while Rupp shot a 189.
Marshall has utitlized two sophomores to alternate into the team’s fifth spot that was held last year by Trey Rupp, who graduated.
Marshall’s daughter, Anna, and Tyler Clawson have shared the position this season. Williams owns an average of 40.88 this season followed by Rupp (41.50), Marshall (46.50), and Clawson (47.89).
Anna Marshall will be in the spot Friday when the Indians attempt tor repeat their NWOAL championship.
But she will bow out of team competition after that and intends to compete as an individual in the girls tournament competition.
“She’s been very consistent for us,” Mike Marshall said.