MENOMINEE - A green Menominee boys' golf team is still searching for green grass to sharpen its game.
The team has been limited to 45 minutes of outside practice Thursday.
The Maroons' home opener Tuesday was called off and the weather has also claimed Monday's Gladstone Invitational. The team hopes to open its season next Thursday in a quadrangular meet at North Shore.
"The kids are really eager to get out and start swinging," coach Lucas Chouinard said. "We've just been hitting into the net. You can tell they're really energized. They really love the game."
Three of the top five players on last year's team have graduated and the Maroons have no seniors, so varsity experience is at premium.
Riley Hegg, Sam Schewe and Landen Maccoux, who led the Maroons with rounds in the 80s at the U.P. Finals, have graduated.
"Anytime you lose senior leadership and their skill, it's hard to replace," Chouinard noted.
Channing Modschiedler and Brock Jersey earned varsity berths as sophomores last season. Modschielder posted a 90 at the U.P. Finals and Jersey carded a 99.
"It's great to have them back. Anytime you can have two kids who bring experience they have, it will pay dividends with the younger kids," Chouinard explained. "They know what its like to play in invitationals, the conference (meet) and the U.P.'s."
Sophomore Christian Kenney also got varsity experience last year and juniors Wade Lemieux, Easton Arsineau and Zach Parrett and sophomore Andrew Leinonen got playing time on the junior varsity.
Chouinard is also expecting contributions from freshmen Tanner Mathias, Evan Kramer and John Horn.
"We're young and very inexperienced, but the kids are working hard," said Chouinard. "It's going to be very competitive (for varsity spots)."
Charlie Siem returns as an assistant coach.
"He's a huge asset to the program," Chouinard said of the former Maroon golfer.
The Maroons placed seventh at the Finals last year. Marquette, which is still buried in snow, is the defending U.P. champion. Jordan Frazier, who won the U.P. Division 1 title last year in Houghton, leads four junior varsity players returning for the Redmen.
Gladstone and Escanaba also return experienced players.
"We're looking forward to the season," the coach noted. "We have a good group of guys. We'll give it our best shot."