SUTTONS BAY – With a veteran order featuring four seniors, the Suttons Bay boys golf team made history once again last season in claiming the program’s second Division 4 state championship and first since 2006.
The win was significant as it marked the second time the Norsemen had won a state title with a lineup of four seniors and one underclassman.
"There’s definitely a buzz around the school any time you win a state title, and it was a special thing for four seniors and a freshman,” coach Todd Hursey said. “As we went through the season, I felt that our kids were mentally tougher and just had a certain maturity to them."
Suttons Bay sports a relatively young roster this spring, as sophomore Thomas Hursey is the lone returning starter from last year’s state title lineup.
"A lot of guys have played in the junior golf programs, and definitely throughout the summer, so there’s a lot of experience and a lot of good talent out there,” he said.
"The talent is still left to be seen,” added Todd Hursey. “There’s some good potential there, and some great attitudes on the team. So, we’re excited about how we’re going to grow this year. But, early on, it’s easy to say we have a long way to go."
Now in his 19th season with the Norsemen, Todd Hursey says he’s still a student of the game, learning plenty about golf and life from his team.
“What I’ve loved about coaching golf is that you get the time to spend with kids, and it’s not like a basketball coaching situation. You’ve got that hour and a half, there’s drills,” he said. “There’s just more a lot more action, a lot more going on. And in coaching golf, it’s just great to have time to develop relationships, to build trust."
With a lack of varsity experience, the Norsemen are taking 2016 one match at a time.
"Our goal is just to be better than we were at the start of the year, and definitely improve, because we’ve got a lot of guys coming back,” Thomas Hursey said. “So, the better we are at the end of the year, the better we are going forward next year."
The elder Hursey expects the Norsemen to be playing their best golf by season’s end.
"I’m definitely excited, but I’m not as excited as the team is. They’re ready to go,” Todd Hursey said. “I don’t know where we’ll stack up in the Northwest Conference, but like I said, I think we’re going to get better throughout the season, and by the end of the year, I hope that we’re a team in contention.”
Suttons Bay continues its season with a Northwest Conference jamboree at Manitou Passage Golf Club on Wednesday.