Big Reds golf has high expecations this year

Finished fifth in triple-A last year

Photo by Jay W.Bennett Parkersburg Big Red junior Nicole Lincicome putts the ball last year at Parkersburg Country Club.

PARKERSBURG–The start of the 2019-20 school year is two weeks away, and with that comes the beginning of the high school golf season. When the Big Reds tee off on Aug. 6 at the Bel Meadow Golf Club, they will start a season full of high expectations and promise for a young roster coming off finishing fifth in the state. Having lost three seniors from last year’s team, that leaves room to grow for coach Don Snider’s team. Despite that loss, Snider has athletes who can pick up right where they left off.

“Well, we’re expecting big things,” Snider said. “We have two girls (junior Nicole Lincicome and sophomore Molly McLean) who both had a chance to play at the state tournament last year. They’re actually going to be leading us out of the gate at the beginning of the season here.”

In Lincicome’s case, she’s been busy over the summer months. Snider took note of what Lincicome means to the team.

“She is still learning and improving,” he said. “She’s improved year-by-year, tremendously. She’s made big jumps over each summer, so she’s going to be right there.”

As for McLean, Snider said the sophomore “just needs to refine her game” and that she “has a great swing and distance off the tee.”

Refining her game mostly means to work on her short game, as McLean and Lincicome look to put themselves in position to go back to the state tournament.

A roster like this one isn’t complete without more veteran leadership and depth that can help a team down the stretch of a long season.

“And we still have (junior) Daniel Wharton and (lone senior) TJ Davidson back, so we have a solid group of four,” Snider remarked.

“That’s what we need right now.”

Those four golfers will play in all four WVGA-sponsored tournaments, as Aug. 8 sees the Big Reds go to Oglebay Country Club. There, crosstown rival Parkersburg South will open its 2019 season. The third tournament event takes place on the following day, when PHS plays at the Edgewood Country Club. The last of those four happens on the 12th at the Parkersburg Country Club.

Qualifying at regionals and going to the state tournament is nothing new for this team, and a top finish at the state tournament on October could build the foundation for plenty of other young golfers looking to break out. Anna Earl, Logan King, Hayden Leavitt and Ethan Metz make up the rest of the roster, and its this youth that gives Snider hope for years to come. King is the only sophomore out of that group, since he spent his freshman year at the junior varsity level. King is also a member of the basketball team and is balancing both sports with golf season approaching. Leavitt steps into his freshman year at 6-foot-2, and his coach also expects big things from him. He comes in having played in multiple Callaway Junior Tour events. Anna Earl comes in behind the likes of Lincicome and McLean, but she is going to develop her game in good company with those two. Metz gained experience playing on the Mid-Ohio Valley Junior Golf Association and takes it to the high school level with plenty of room to grow.

The team has changed a bit, but the expectations have not. For this team, there is plenty to be excited about. All the hard work will be put to the test, as they hope to make a push towards Wheeling.

Contact Josh Hughes at jhughes@newsandsentinel.com