By now the sports world has witnessed the full effects brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately for most athletes, fans, and coaches, that has meant a year without a sports season.
Within the high school ranks, no season has been more impacted than the spring sports season and the sports of track, soccer, tennis, and golf. With the cancellation of the spring sports season in Iowa has come the loss of what would have been an exciting campaign full of intriguing storylines. One such storyline would have resided on the golf course where Van Meter sophomore Dylan Sherlock was turning heads.
From almost out of nowhere, Sherlock rocked the Iowa high school golfing world as just a freshman last season. It was a season to note beginning with a strong regular season and an eighth-place individual finish at the West Central Activities Conference meet. Sherlock then capped off his initial high school campaign with an eighth-place finish at the state meet. It was certainly a memorable season that will not soon be forgotten in the eyes of many, including Van Meter head boys golf coach Addison Boughton.
“Dylan had a great season last year and he was dialed in on pretty much every meet,” said Boughton. “Golf is a sport that requires a lot of patience and it’s not too often that you see that in a high schooler but you did from Dylan.”
It was a great season full of memories for Dylan and fans of Van Meter golf but now entering the lost season that is 2020, all that remains is the question of what could have been. Knowing talented Sherlock, that question would have revolved around to what new heights has he taken himself.
“What Dylan did last year was something I haven’t really seen in a freshman,” said Boughton. “It was fun just to watch him improve across last season but with a full year under his belt, it would have been very fun to watch him this season.”
The possibilities of what Sherlock was capable of doing in the 2020 campaign are seemingly endless. After all as just a freshman, Sherlock averaged 42 strokes per nine holes and just under 88 strokes per 18 holes. Now it’s all categorized as a lost season but one that Sherlock himself was looking forward to as well.
“I was really excited to get back out there this season,” said Sherlock. “I always enjoy playing the game and I felt I improved a lot since myfreshman year and I was ready to put that out there this year.”
The excitement of what was to come was certainly high and although it was scrapped and lost, it wasn’t a total loss for Dylan himself.
“It sucks not having a season but I’m not going to let that get to me,” said Sherlock. “I know that I have to keep on working because there will be another chance to play again. This whole thing has given me more time to practice and improve.”
That very mindset is something that coach Boughton mentioned as years ahead of his time but it’s easy to see why when you dive back into the past of Sherlock and his history with the game. Ultimately while coach Boughton was impressed with his initial high school campaign, it wasn’t a surprise and it all began with parental units.
“Knowing his parents and knowing the good people that they are, it really wasn’t surprising to see him do so well,” said Boughton. “It was expected of him because he has been playing the game for so long he’s always been improving.”
For Dylan, golf has been ingrained into his life ever since he can remember and something that’s stayed with him all his life so far.
“Ever since I can remember I’ve been golfing honestly,” said Sherlock. “I can’t even remember the first time I picked up a club because I started before I could remember stuff.”
That groundwork has led Sherlock to big things including becoming the first Van Meter boys golfer in over 15 years to make it to the state meet, let alone place inside the top ten. It was a big accomplishment with undoubtedly more to come but what it helped to highlight was Sherlock’s mental talent as well as his physical talent.
“Dylan has a calm demeanor which allows him to get out of sticky situations and also to read the course well,” said Boughton. “He may not out drive someone but he makes up for it with smart shots and good course management.”
All of that was expected to translate into potentially another state meet season for Sherlock but for now, it’s playing the waiting game until next season. Then again, for the talented Sherlock, there’s really no waiting at all.
“Normally I like to go straight from the spring golf season into the summer golf season,” said Sherlock. “That’s pretty much what I’m going to do now, just keep practicing and get ready for summer.”
What has set Dylan apart from other golfers his age has been his talent but it’s how that talent has been acquired that is interesting in itself. Variation can be the spice of life in sports and for Sherlock, he has found plenty of ways to keep himself tuned in.
“I practice as much as I can,” began Sherlock. “I also like to challenge my dad and try to beat him. I’ll try to put better than him or have a better fareway shot and stuff like that.”
From an early age idolizing Tiger Woods to the Tiger Woods-like performances on the golf course now, golf has been a huge part of Sherlock’s life. From his passion, fans of high school golf have enjoyed the outcome of all that hard work. Now, it’ll be a waiting game for fans to see Sherlock light up the high school courses yet again.