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2013 Spring Preview: Depth could be strength for Park boys golf team

Park welcomes back junior Alex Holland - who was the Wolfpack's second-best scorer at the SEC meet last year.

This spring, the Park boys golf team is looking to build on what was a new start last year.

Under first year head coach Chad Salay, the Wolfpack struggled to a 10th place finish in the 10-team Suburban East Conference championship tournament and was also unable to send a golfer to the state tournament in 2012.

This spring, however, the varsity lineup will look quite a bit different than last year as the team will be without 2012 graduates Garrett Mahigan, Nick Cekalla and Jeff Martin. However, the Wolfpack welcomes back junior Alex Holland - who was Park's second-best scorer at the SEC meet last year - along with juniors Pat McCarthy and Cole LeMay and senior Chris Peterson.

"Our guys are really excited to get out on the course," Salay said. "Our team has a lot more depth this year and some young kids that are going to be challenging for spots on our teams."

This year, it's believed Forest Lake, Stillwater, Hastings and East Ridge will be the teams to beat in the Suburban East. In section play, Hastings, Eagan and East Ridge will likely be the main teams standing in Park's way of a state berth. Hastings, especially, will be a team to watch this year. The Raiders have been fielding the same lineup for the past three seasons and won the SEC Championship tourney last year.

For the first time in a long time the SEC Championship and first day of the Section 3AAA Championship won't be played at Keller, which is under construction. The SEC tourney will be held at Indian Hills Golf Course in Stillwater on May 21. The Section 3AAA tournament will take place on May 28 and 31 at Goodrich Golf Club in Maplewood and Bunker Hills, respectively.

Weather permitting, the season is set to start with an invitational on Monday, April 8, at Troy Burne Golf Club in Hudson, Wis., followed by the Park Invitational on April 9 at River Oaks Golf Course and a two-day invite in the Wisconsin Dells on April 12 and 13.

The Wolfpack's first conference match is set for Tuesday, April 16, at Prestwick in Woodbury.

"Our main focus this year is to get better at some aspect of the game each day, if we can get better each and every day we can reach the goals we have set as individuals and as a team," Salay said.