WARRENSBURG — The Warrensburg golf team returns four of its five top players from the 2017 roster this season.

The team returns senior Ty Carter and Russell Wilkins; junior Nolan Chapman and sophomore Andrew Bailey from last season’s varsity squad.

Carter, Wilkins and Chapman all made the sectional tournament in 2017.

“Probably as much improvement as I could have imagined,” Warrensburg coach Dave Liebnitz said. “Guys have worked over the summer and through the fall.”

The team graduated just one senior last season, Kade Mackey.

Mackey also made the sectional tournament.

“I believe we will have a chance to compete in a lot of tournaments we struggled in last year,” Liebnitz said on the experience of this season’s team.

Carter, Wilkins and Chapman played in the top spots last year as juniors and a sophomore, respectively.

“They had to make a big jump last year and play in the one, two and three spots,” Liebnitz said.

“They used all their prior knowledge to take forth the new season we have and we can be a lot more competitive, I think, now that we have actually gotten our feet in the water,” Chapman said.

Liebnitz said the experience the team gained last year from playing younger golfers at the top spots will be beneficial this year.

“Once they take ownership of their golf game, that is where they really start to stride, instead of you telling them what to do all the time,” he said. “I hoped they would improve and I knew they would improve but overall the guys probably advanced their game a little more than I expected.”

Along with returning four of the top five from last season, Liebnitz said freshman Brooks Baldwin will compete for a varsity spot this season.

“He will be up on the varsity squad, not by default,” Liebnitz said. “He will jump right in on the varsity squad and will be a welcomed addition.”

He said the soundness of the team will be a strength in competitions.

“I think the strength is going to be the ‘team golf,’” Liebnitz said.

Not only does Warrensburg have a core group return but it also welcomes a class of seven freshman to the team.

“It kind of gives us more of a future for our team,” Chapman said.

The Tigers have had to fight the elements early in order to get practice swings in.

“Well we have had some tough weather to practice in recently,” Liebnitz said.

“It’s kind of just getting back into everything,” Chapman said.

The Tigers still have some time to practice though before their first regular season action on March 22.

Warrensburg will host Marshall and Sacred Heart.

Action is slated to begin at 4 p.m.

The team will compete in its first tournament of the season on April 2 at the Eagle Invitational.

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