It was a successful tee off to the 2018 campaign for the Waukee boys golf team this past week with a victory in Marshalltown. Fresh off of a fourth place finish at state last season, the Warriors kicked off the new season with a 308-317 victory over the Bobcats at the American Legion Golf Course.

Consistency was the name of the game for the Warriors and it was spearheaded by senior Bennett Pedersen who carded a six-over par mark of 76. That mark gave Pedersen the meet medalist honor in a card back. Sophomore standout Jack Starr fought hard and also picked up a six-over par score of 76 to place third individually. Another senior in Michael Vicente fired a solid seven-over par score of 77 while Griffin Parker round out the scoring with a 79.

Despite the challenges of the first outing of the season, head coach John Kotz mentioned it was a solid start.

“It’s good to get the first competition out of the way,” began Kotz. “Team golf has a different feel than individual golf competitions. There is a sense that players feel they can’t let their teammates down and sometimes that can seep into the thoughts of players during the round. It takes a couple of competitions to get back into team mode.”

The strong start for the Warriors can be traced back to many things but one that coach Kotz spoke about with more importance was the play of his upperclassmen.

“I thought our older players kept the team pulse fairly steady,” said Kotz. “They led the team today and that’s what veteran players need to do. It really helps to have Driffin, Bennett, and Michael on our team and become our established leaders. They have been playing varsity for a couple of years now and the expectations of our program have seen a lot of battles in the regular and post season.”

Kotz added that while it wasn’t the team’s collective best outing, he did talk about the positives he saw coming out of the round.

“We didn’t play our best today, but we played with a steadiness and controlled demeanor,” said Kotz. “Marshalltown is a good team, we were just deeper talent wise and that helped us in this situation. All of our guys faced challenges but they kept plugging away and finished their round as best they could.”

The Warriors are on the road today traveling to Marion, Iowa to play in the Linn Mar Invitational at Hunter’s Ridge Golf Course. The Warriors will be involved in a 15 team field that includes Linn Mar, Cedar Rapids Kennedy, Cedar Rapids Xavier, Cedar Rapids Washington, Cedar Rapids Jefferson, Cedar Rapids Prairie, Cedar Falls, Dubuque Senior, Iowa City High, Marshalltown, Dowling Catholic, Muscatine, Indianola, and Western Dubuque.