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Young Bulldog linksters under new coach

By Cort Reynolds

The 2022 Ada High School boys golf program will be under the tutelage of a new head coach for the first time in a decade.

Recent assistant Kurt Klingler now assumes the reins of a small, inexperienced team. The Bulldog linksters have had only two head coaches for the past 25 years in Mike Badertscher and Jason Campbell.

Klingler welcomes back two lettermen and three newcomers to the five-man Bulldog squad this season.

"We are very young and very inexperienced," said Klingler. "We only have two players with experience in competitive golf. We picked up a senior and two freshmen to go with the two returning players.

"We don't have kids with the God-given ability to hit drives 300 yards.

"But we do have kids who are excited about golf and work hard," he continued. "All five players have worked hard this summer. We are just looking for progress every day and are trying to get better."

Senior three-time letterman Geddes Klingler is slotted in to play first or second.

Two-time letterman junior Jack Baumgartner is the other letterman returning, and he will vie to be in the top two Ada scorers.

"Geddes and Jack are both mentally tough and conscientious hard workers," said the coach. "Both shoot in the low 50's consistently.

"Moving up to one and two from four and five for them is a big adjustment," he noted.

Senior golf newcomer Dale Hoyt is expected to be the team's probable number three player.

"Dale brings leadership and calm consistency to the game," Klingler observed. "He is making great strides."

Freshman Jayden Shaffer has played a little golf before this season, and is expected to fill the number four slot. "He has an understanding of the swing and is motivated," said Klingler.

Freshman Sam Crawford is a total newcomer to the sport. He is expected to be the fifth player in the lineup most matches. 

"Golf has a lot of aspects to learn," offered the coach about his young team. "There are so many rules, etiquette and skills to learn. Without having much experience, it is a hard sport to play."

Last fall, Allen East won the NWC regular season title but Lincolnview edged the Mustangs for the tournament crown. Ada finished tied for seventh with Crestview.

"We have a good group of kids," said Klingler. "All are willing to work hard and are coachable. We just want to take one step at a time, one stroke at a time, and keep progressing. 

"We are looking at building men for the future, not just golfers," said the coach. "I am excited about the season. The kids want to get better and work hard. 

"I hope we are creating blueprints on how to handle adversity in life," he added.

Former Ada girls basketball coach Barth Montel is the assistant coach.


Ada golf at a glance

Head coach: Kurt Klingler, 1st year

2020: 7th/9 at NWC meet

Lettermen back/lost: 2/3

Top returnees: Sr. Geddes Klingler, Jr. Jack Baumgartner

Top newcomer: Sr. Dale Hoyt, Fr. Jayden Shaffer, Fr. Sam Crawford