Coach: Greg Dirst, first season.
Last season: Finished 10th in Region 7-AAAAA.
Key returners: Jacob Dattilo, jr.; Aaron Hemrick, jr.; Max Mobley, soph.
Key newcomers: Christian Payne, fr.
Outlook: Greg Dirst takes over a program that doesn’t have quite as much tradition as some of their Forsyth County counterparts. But Coach Dirst is hoping that his team can grow over the course of this season, and it’s going to take some work. The Bulldogs, however, do have three returning players from last season in juniors Jacob Dattilo and Aaron Hemrick and sophomore Max Mobley. So if these players dedicate themselves to this team and getting better, Central could improve on last season’s results. "Our goal is to improve each week and each practice," Dirst said. "And if we’re better at the end than at the start, I think this season is a success."
Coach: Brian Jakaitis, fifth season.
Last season: Finished second in Region 6-AAAAAA, sixth at state.
Key returners: Campbell Fisher, jr., Jake Thomas, jr.
Key newcomers: Jake Fendt, jr.
Outlook: Lambert had a great season in 2013, but fell just shy of their ultimate goal. Unfortunately, they graduated six seniors who had been in the program since the school opened in 2009. But coach Brian Jakaitis is excited about the fresh faces. Juniors Campbell Fisher and Jake Thomas each had their scores counted to the overall team score in the state tournament last year, which is no small task. Jake Fendt, also a junior, is the most notable newcomer to the team, and has actually been homeschooled up until now. But despite all the new faces, coach Jakaitis is excited about what the future holds. "I think we have a good shot to win the region tournament," Jakaitis said. "We’re definitely going to be there to compete. If not, we’ll definitely go to sectionals, I think we’ve got a pretty good squad."
Coach: Rodney Moore, fourth season.
Last season: Finished eighth in Region 6-AAAAAA.
Key returners: Lewis Lester, sr.; Lenny Bishop, sr.
Key newcomers: Ethan House, fr.
Outlook: North finished last in the region a year ago, but they do have a couple of experienced guys to lean on coming into this season. Seniors Lewis Lester and Lenny Bishop are the lone returning golfers for the Raiders this season. But freshman Ethan House should also be able to contribute. North also has several juniors and sophomores that coach Rodney Moore would like to see separate themselves from the pack. But his overall message is consistency. "We have to be more consistent," Moore said. "We have some kids with ability. We just need to be more focused and have more confidence in ourselves."
Coach: Jeff Wright, second season.
Last season: Finished second in Area 2-A, sixth at sectionals.
Key returners: Jess Hill, sr.; Daniel Drayovich, jr.; Anthony Boudreaux, sr.; Thomas Hardy, soph.; Brennan Ruf, sr.
Key newcomers: Grayson Dubose, jr.; Brian Roh, soph.
Outlook: Pinecrest Academy just missed the cut to qualify for the state tournament last season. Senior Jess Hill’s score of 75 in last year’s sectionals was good enough to qualify for the state tournament, making him the first golfer in Paladins’ history to qualify for state. They also return junior Daniel Drayovich, who won the West Forsyth Tournament a year ago with a score of 67. Pinecrest returns five of their top six from a year ago, giving them a lot of confidence heading into this season. "I think we have a good shot to win our region," Wright said, "We have the most returning golfers of any team in our area, so if our guys play the way they’re capable of, we should qualify for state. If not, we should still be a sectional qualifier and have a good opportunity to qualify for state."
Coach: Matt Loveless, 14th season.
Last season: Finished third in Region 6-AAAAAA, sixth at sectionals, 10th at state.
Key returners: Grant Young, sr.; Josh Payne, sr.; Nick Sheperd, sr.
Key newcomers: Nick Mineo, jr.; Bradley Heath, soph.; Josh Sargeant, soph.; Cameron Stokes, fr.
Outlook: South graduated six seniors from a year ago, and three of those six went on to sign scholarships. But the War Eagles are not without experience. They return three seniors in Grant Young, Josh Payne and Nick Sheperd. Young could become the first player since Coach Matt Loveless has been at South to play in the state tournament all four years. They also have a couple big time newcomers on this team. Nick Mineo had to sit out last season because of a transfer. And freshman Cameron Stokes is considered one of the best players in the county at his age. "Our expectations are always high, but it’s a little more unpredictable this year," Loveless said. "If we just take baby steps and focus on our goals, I think we’ll be fine."
Coach: Chris Roy, fifth season.
Last season: Finished fifth in Region 6-AAAAAA.
Key returners: Robert Shaw, jr.; Dru Adams, sr.; Michael Cross, soph.; Drew Ridings, soph.; Mason Jones, sr.; Zach Davis, jr.
Key newcomers: None.
Outlook: West returns their top six golfers from a year ago, including Robert Shaw, who was all-region last year. They also return seniors Dru Adams and Mason Jones. The Wolverines actually shot the qualifying score necessary to qualify for the state tournament, but as the fifth place team in their region, they were left on the outside looking in. Region 6-AAAAAA might be the toughest region in the state when it comes to golf. Three teams from this region finished in the top eight in the state last season. But West isn’t going to limit itself to just its own region when it comes to competition. "We’re hosting the West Forsyth Tournament," West coach Chris Roy said. "There will be two state champions there in Norcross and Marist. So we’ve tried to put ourselves against some tough competition in order to prepare us for the region tournament at the end of the season."
— Matt Green, For the Forsyth County News