ROCHELLE — The loss of graduating seniors Garrett Glosser and Noah Griffith has left some holes to fill in the Rochelle golf team’s varsity lineup. And with minimal upperclassmen to take those spots, Hubs head coach Glen Mehrings will be turning to some younger players for low scores when Rochelle begins its season this fall.
The Hubs held their first practice at Rochelle’s Fairways Golf Course on Tuesday, and players will have about two weeks to sharpen their skills or shake off some rust before Rochelle hosts Dixon High School and Freeport High School for its first meet of the year on Thursday, Aug. 16.
“We had some freshmen out playing in July and I was able to help them out,” Mehrings said. “It was nice to see a group of younger kids who are willing to learn practicing hard… Golf is one of those sports where you really love it or you don’t, and Garrett and Noah were both really competitive athletes who just wanted to win.”
Junior Sean Flanagan and sophomore Reese Kirk are two players Mehrings has worked with this summer, while freshmen Rowan Williams and Shepard Hayes are also players who could make an impact on the program this season. Sophomore Megan Thiravong will return after an outstanding freshman season that included a trip to the IHSA Class 1A State Championship.
“Megan has traveled and played in a lot of tournaments this summer,” Mehrings said. “She’ll have a lot of experience from last season and I think her playing leadership and her student leadership are going to be bonuses to our team this year. She likes leading by example and encouraging her teammates.”
Rochelle finished 5-8-1 last year with victories over Dixon, Oregon, North Boone, Amboy and LaSalle-Peru. The Hubs also took second in the Princeton Invitational while finishing fourth in the Rocket Invitational. While wins may be tougher to achieve this season, Mehrings said one goal for his players will be to learn and build an appreciation for golf that will encourage them to continue playing.
“I want to keep kids who are willing to learn,” Mehrings said. “They have to be persistent with their practice if they want to improve.”