The Sandwich varsity boys golf squad found itself in somewhat of an unusual situation last season.
The Indians, who have been a power on the links in the past, stumbled to a 4-8 overall record and an eighth-place finish at the 11-team Interstate Eight Conference meet.
SHS also finished out of the money in seventh place at the Kaneland Class 2A Regional, advancing only one golfer — Jarrod Scents — to sectionals.
Scents did not make it to the state meet and since has graduated. But the Indians have a wealth of experienced golfers returnin, which has sixth-year coach Mike Butler very encouraged.
"Last season was a rebuilding year ... but the boys really started to come together late in the season," Butler said. "The boys really worked hard in the off-season. This makes for high expectations this season as we look to improve our record both in and out of the Interstate Eight."
Senior Andrew Murphy should lead the way for the Indians this year having just missed sectionals last season by one stroke. Seniors Spencer Anderson and Hayden Isham also figure to contribute in a big way to the overall scoring, along with seniors Max Pinkowski, Jackson Hill, Joe Pikula and Tristan Brittingham. Newcomers Andrew Gipe, Connor Wilson and Tyler Bols, who are all juniors, should also help contribute to the mix.
"All in all, I really like our depth this season," Butler said. "Overall, I feel we are heading in the right direction and I'm looking for the boys to put us back into contention."
On the girls side, the Lady Indians only had three competitors last year and they were unable to field a full team.
But this season the SHS girls are sporting a seven-player roster headed by senior Emma Reedy, who was an I-8 All-Conference performer as a junior. After that the Lady Indians are fairly inexperienced and field three sophomores in Jillian Fuchs, Josie Gonzalez and Haley Chavarria, along with freshmen Hanna Reedy, Morgan Ross and Grace Donahue.
"As a young team I expect a lot of growing pains at first, but I think the girls have a bright future in front of them," Butler said. "I look for Emma and Jillian to anchor the team early in the season, but the other girls have really been showing a lot of good things in practice."