Boys golf looking to cause conference trouble

Adam Larck
Ryan Ballard looks to be one of the main leaders of this year's boys golf team.

While the Metamora boys golf team lost seven members from last year’s squad, coach Todd Cheek has plenty of athletes that look to make a big impact this year.

“Ryan Ballard and Ryan Waterworth are going to be good again, along with Quinn Zircher,” Cheek said. “They’re the main varsity returners in terms of scoring.”

Besides the varsity returns, the team is also getting Trey Tussey, a freshman at Metamora who won the Tri-County Junior Boys championship over the summer, along with a “little sophomore that’s turned his game around and put a lot of practice in,” according to Cheek, the third-year coach.

“It’s nice to be able to have some kids to pull from, so I’m not going to be relying on just one kid to score,” he said.

During the first week of practice, Cheek said that, while the scores have been a bit higher than expected from some golfers, it’s going good.

“I think a lot of that is just the nerves of getting back into it and playing that mind game with each other of trying to beat this person or that person and they forget about just playing the game,” he said.

Looking towards the season, Cheek said the Redbirds, along with the rest of the conference, have a chance to really cause problems for each other.

“You always look at Pekin and Morton and Washington as being at the top, but everybody has some strong kids coming in,” Cheek said. “Dunlap, they always seem to have some good kids and are always tough. Limestone has some new ones coming in. East Peoria has a young freshman coming in and a returning sophomore that did a nice job. I think it’s going to be a highly contested conference. I hope we all are able to get in the mix and cause some problems for each other.”

Besides looking forward to the conference matches, Cheek is also ready to bring back an old tournament.

“We’re actually looking forward to our Redbird Classic that we’re bringing back this year,” he said. “It’s going to be nice to feature this course (Metamora Fields) with some area schools in a tournament.”

Overall, 12 boys teams will be at the tourney, along with seven or eight girls teams.

Another tournament Metamora Fields will be host to this year is the conference tournament.

While the team didn’t qualify any for state last year and only one for the sectional, he does hope to get a few more golfers to the sectional.

“We’re looking forward to a good, strong year and just keep building on everything we’re working on out here,” Cheek said.