With the return of several key players from last season's 14-9 team, Elkins enters the 2012 golf campaign with high expectations.
Coach David Baird's squad will begin a quest for a third consecutive winning season when the Tigers entertain Fairmont Senior today at the Elks Country Club.
"Our expectations this season are really high," Baird said. "I think the entire team has a chance to end the long drought at Elkins of sending the entire team to the state tournament.
The Inter-Mountain file photo
Elkins’ Alex Baird is one of several key players returning for the Tiger golf team this season.
"But we're going to have to stay consistent and play to our potential."
One Elkins player that got a taste of state tournament play last season was Alex Baird, who qualified for the individual competition.
"Making the state tournament was a real confidence boost for Alex," Baird said. "I think its going to carry over into this season for him."
Baird is also projecting solid seasons from Kolin Hopwood and Braden Hammond.
"Alex, Kolin and Braden are all capable of not only being on the all-conference first team, but making it all the way to the state tourney," Baird said.
Kelsi Trippett and Remmington Knight also return with experience for the Tigers.
In all, Elkins had 14 players try out for the team, which according to Baird is the most in several years.
"I really think the program is heading in the right direction," Baird said. "We had more kids tryout for the team than we've had come out in a long time."
Newcomers this year include: Morgan Kelley, Brendan Cain, Kole Hopwood, Jared Kerns, Joseph Severino, Ben Daft, Anthony Hayden and Greyson Teets.
After today's match, which is scheduled to get under way at 10 a.m., Elkins will play in the Pete Dye Invitational on Monday with 30 other golf teams.