By Becky Walz,
Four seniors will propel the Turkey Valley boys’ golf team this season.
The Trojans return four athletes with a stroke average under 60 from 2021. Helping the squad lower its score is head coach John Reicks. He has been with the program for 11 years.
The Trojans of 2021 were young, yet talented with just a handful of letter winners after losing the 2020 season to COVID-19.
Leading the way was junior Garrett Kurtenbach who had been a district qualifier as a freshman, along with senior Kalvin Langreck and Jackson Vsetecka.
At the conference meet in May, the Trojans finished fourth with a 382 stroke total. G. Kurtenbach led the way, shooting an 89 to earn fourth place and all-conference honors. Other results included Kalvin Langreck (96), Calvin Bodensteiner (96), Brody Hackman (101), Jackson Vsetecka (101) and Caleb Kurtenbach (111).
The season came to an end at the sectional meet. The Trojans shot a 390 to finish sixth as a team. G. Kurtenbach just missed advancing, shooting a 90 to take eighth. Other scores were Bodensteiner (94), Vsetecka (99), C. Kurtenbach (107), Langreck (107) and Hackman (111).
The Trojans have eight of their top-10 linksters back. At the top of the list is No. from last year Garrett Kurtenbach. The all-conference selection averaged 45.00 strokes per nine holes last season.
Also back with experience is junior Calvin Bodensteiner who was second with an average of 52.00. Others back are Jackson Vsetecka (53.25 average), Caleb Kurtenbach (56.30), Braylen Byrne (57.67), Brody Hackman (59.00), Oliver Schmitt (59.00), Rolin Schmitt (61.50) and Lance Schmitt (65.88).
“The team has good senior leadership as Garrett is one of the top golfers in the area,” said Coach Reicks. “We have six two-sport athletes who are sharing their talents with other spring sports but will give us a boost.”
It will be a battle in the league for the top spot in the Upper Iowa Conference. Coach Reicks sees North Fayette Valley, South Winn, Central and Clayton Ridge as having the best chances at winning the crown.
“We are looking for a top-tier finish with a veteran squad and are excited for the season to begin. Garrett (Kurtenbach) and Jackson (Vsetecka) will be a solid pair at the top of the scorecard,” said the veteran coach.
Coach Reicks also noted that Caleb Kurtenbach and Braylen Byrne played a lot of golf last summer and may surprise opponents this season, while Lance Schmitt and Rolin Schmitt will supply the Trojans with much-needed depth.
The Trojans are also looking for several dual-sport athletes to make their mark as they compete in track and golf including Brody Hackman, Calvin Bodensteiner, Noah Hanson, Carson Busta, Garrett Dietzenbach and Oliver Schmitt.
“They will be available when their busy schedules allow. Flexibility and communication will be pivotal and at the end of the end of the day it is about providing opportunities for our students to participate and enjoy the sport of golf.”