With a first-year head coach at the helm of the Cinnaminson golf team in 2015 you would have thought there would be an adjustment period. That never happened.
The 2014 team went 14-2 with a Patriot title and a SJ1 title. The 2015 team, under the leadership of Bret Jenkins, went 15-0 in the regular season and won the Burlington County Open for the first time in program history. The undefeated regular season was also a program first.
So, what is in store for Cinnaminson golf in the 2016 season?
Even though the team graduated its top two golfers at the end of 2015 in David Gall and Matt Haddon, the Pirates are still looked at as the team to beat in Burlington County.
“I think the guys really like it (having a target on their backs),” Jenkins said. “I think it gives them a little bit of swagger and confidence. Teams are going to be coming after them this year.”
“The nice thing with golf is it’s an individual sport. It’s not like the other team is going to be playing defense on you. What other teams are doing shouldn’t have an affect on us.”
Jenkins likes that the majority of this year’s top six golfers experienced the 15-0 regular season and BC Open win in 2015.
“I think obviously the experience with last year helps. Knowing each match and tournament we go into, we have a chance to win, no matter who we’re going against. We have a chance to be at the top no matter what.”
As with any sport, the preseason is used to work on some things that need to be fine-tuned. The Pirates golfers have been doing that since practice began earlier in March.
“The number one thing will be mental,” Jenkins said. “A lot of the guys are really good golfers, but they expect to be amazing every day. That would be great, but it is not possible in the sport. They need to treat each hole separately. If they have a poor hole, they need to move on and not dwell on the last one.”
“We send out the scores each day so our goal can be trying to improve each day instead of looking ahead to end of May and the various tournaments we can play in.”
Jenkins named this year’s top six golfers, all of whom saw time on the course in the top six last season.
“The top six are Tim Jones, Greg Shiffer, Zack Howard, TJ Emanuel, Josh Elder and Nick Aninos. Nick was right around the six or seven range with Zack last year. They both got some match experience.”
Jenkins is excited for what the 2016 will bring because of the passion his golfers exhibit for the sport year-round.
“We not only bring back experience, but guys who have passion for the game. They played so much this summer and fall and even when the weather was decent in the winter. They wanted to get out here everyday. The weather’s been great and they’ve been super excited to get out here. It’s really easy for me when you have kids that are passionate and playing the sport year-round.”
Cinnaminson golf opens the 2016 season on Tuesday, April 5 at 3:45pm with a home match against New Egypt at Riverton Country Club.
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