Freshman Peter Sullivan was sad to see the Lejeune High School soccer season come to a close back in November. Over the past few weeks however, Sullivan has something to smile about. He’ll be reuniting with teammates Aaron Pierce, Kylen Jones, Austin Barkhimer, Broden Wilhelmsen and Robbie Morgan.
“After the soccer season, we didn’t talk as much as we used,” Sullivan said. “Since the golf season started, we have been talking a lot more—it has been fun.”
Michael Phillips, Lejeune High School head golf coach, is optimistic about his team’s chances this spring in his second year at the helm for the Lejeune boys golf squad.
“It’s going to be very interesting to see what happens out there on the course,” Phillips said. “There are only 2 players (Barkhimer and Jones) from last year’s team that have any experience playing in matches. It’s a completely different atmosphere in a match than it is at practice. There are more nerves to deal with.”
With those senior members comes experience. Senior Kylen Jones is ready to rumble this season.
“This year we have some more developed golfers,” Jones said. “I am excited about this season because we are a strong team already. All but two of us were on the soccer team this past season and we are already good friends.”
Lejeune’s Keegan McDonough is also on the golf team and he spent this past winter wrestling alongside fellow Devil Pup, Barkhimer.
“Playing multiple sports here at Lejeune High School is good for bonding especially with some of us (who) were on the soccer and wrestling team together,” Barkhimer said.
Barkhimer says that the Devil Pups’ plan this season is to place at regionals.
“The team needs to work on focusing on our individual [performance],” Barkhimer said. “We want more people to go to regionals because last year no one made it to regionals.”
Freshman Owen Stewart only plays golf for Lejeune. However, Stewart traded a football helmet in for a putter after wrapping up his middle school days.
“I have been playing golf now for a couple of months,” Stewart said. “I wanted to try something new with golf. I want to improve upon my drives before the season starts, my putting is going ok. There will be some learning to start the season.”
Even though placing at regionals is important to the golfers, Phillips wants to see his team focus on their own individual game.
“I want them to focus on just playing golf and try to improve each day,” Phillips said. “If they improve each day and keep working at it then they will be fine. If a part of their hard work should result in them doing well as a team and getting a chance to play more golf that would be real great for them.”
Lejeune High golf will start their season on the road at East Carteret High School on Monday starting at 2 p.m.