By Tiffany L. Rehbein
Twenty three freshmen and sophomores highlight the 27-person Havre High School golf team this spring.
The best thing about that are the sophomores who led the boys' team to a third-place state finish last year.
"My goal is to take state with the boys," head coach Keith Evenson said. "My goal with the girls is to get them to state."
Sophomores Nick Obie, Kevin Harada, Jason Johnstone, and Kyle Sheppard were integral last year in bringing the Ponies into contention at state.
Sophomore Troy Toner also played well and looks good in the early season, Evenson said.
Laurel, who won the state title for the boys last season, graduated the core of its team.
"The boys just have an outstanding group of eight to 10 boys for the varsity spots," Evenson said. "They are all very young, but they are all very competitive."
Obie, who finished third individually at state last season, claimed the state junior amateur championship during the summer. He shoots around a 36 average, Evenson said.
Freshmen Kyle Lammerding, Eric Holden, and Josh Knudson are also playing well, Evenson said.
Senior Lisa Wagner leads the girls' side this season. With only eight girls participating, juniors Jessica Sande and Jenni Solomon are the only other returners to the team.
Wagner has advanced to state all four years of her career and could be a possible All-State candidate, Evenson said.
Sophomores Julie Wagner, Katie Miller, and Jill McLain are also progressing nicely in the preseason, Evenson said.
The Ponies will take an abbreviated team to Shelby to compete in the first meet of the year on Friday. The junior varsity will compete at Conrad on Saturday.