(Chris Pobst, Staff)
"The top six players from last year are all returning from last year, so hopefully, we can improve," Sikesotn golf coach Andy McGill said. "That's what we've talked about. We're setting goals on what we want to accomplish as a team and individually.
"We definitely want to improve on our record. But, our ultimate goal is to hopefully win districts. Last year, one of our best finishes in a tournament was districts. We want to try and be in that top two."
Although they feature two seniors, Alec Burden and Hannah Uthoff, and three juniors, the Bullodgs are relatively young when it comes to their core group of players.
Both Evan Deere, a junior, and Kirk Hoggatt, a sophomore, return to the team as the only two with state tournament experience. Deere has been the last two years.
"Evan has been the No. 1 or No. 2 guy for us since his freshman year," said McGill. "He does have experience.
"Kirk, he got some valuable experience last year as a freshman being at the state competition. That always helps out."
They will also be leaning on sophomores Connor Landers and Conor MacGillivray, as well as junior Ben Murray.
"Both of them (Landers and MacGillivray) have went to some golf camps and they have improved their swings," said McGill. "Only time will tell once we get in a match and see how much their scores have improved."
The Bulldogs have not had much time on the course with weather playing a huge part in practice time. But McGill is pleased with what he has saw with overall technique and swings so far.
"There's a lot of season left and we haven't even played or put them in that pressure situation," said McGill. "But as far as technique, you can see some of the younger kids have improved over the summer. We had a young group last year and we still have a young group. With the short period of time that we've been outside and actually hitting, I can see some improvement on the kids' swings."
Sikeston will have an improved chance to get a state bid as the rules have changed. The top two teams from both a district and sectional tournament will advance to state.
"There's going to be some good competition within our district, we realize that," McGill said. "We've vamped our schedule for more tournaments, reduced our matches for our varsity and hopefully, revamping our schedule and getting into more 18-hole tournaments will only help us later down the road."
Sikeston's first match will be Monday at the Sikeston Country Club against Malden and New Madrid County Central at 4 p.m.