Youth served for Laney girls golf team

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Coming into the season, Laney golf coach Sherri Tynes didn't know what to expect.

Gone was three-time Mideastern conference player-of-the-year Caroline Cahill, who signed to play at UNCW.

Tynes did know that junior Jayla Rogers would need to be anchor for her team, but still had plenty of questions about the rest of the roster.

Four of the seven players where freshman with zero varsity experience. Little did Tynes know that her four freshmen - Amber Butner, Grace Holcomb, Haley Goldberg, and Regan Creasy - would play so well.

"Honestly, I didn't think the first year that I came here would be as great as it is" said freshman Grace Holcomb. "I was looking forward to being on the team for a very long time since middle school. And when I got there it was great, and we started to do really good."

The Buccaneers haven't finished lower than second in any of their seven matches, picking up five wins.

But it was a second-place finish, just four strokes behind power house Pinecrest at the North State Challenge that has the girls believing this could be there year.

"I told the girls it raised the bar a bit," said Tynes about the second-place finish. "And that expectations are now higher going into regions and going into states. So, we hope we can keep it at that level."

The players have bought into that message.

"Hopefully, we make it to regionals and states this year with four people, so that's the goal," said junior Jayla Rogers.

With so many young players on the roster, Rogers has taken a huge leadership role on the team, almost becoming another coach.

"She's just a really good leader, and she helps us with everything" said Holcomb about Rogers. "If we have any problems we go to Jayla. And we always congratulate each other, and just pick each other up."

Rogers' transition into her new role has been seamless, and is always ready to teach from her experience.

"I guess the mental part of the game. I have been there, I have been through it. I would say it's kind of hard sometimes, but because I am a junior I try to help as much as I can."

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