HELENA — With fall sports practices right around the corner, the first sport to start will be golf at the Class AA and B level. For Helena High and Helena Capital's golf programs, this year is already looking brighter for Dana Shepherd and Casey Lyndes as the two coaches know for sure they'll actually be able to start a season.
"I look forward to just getting started. I really like -- I love to teach golf. I look forward to looking at new swings. Some of them are great. Some of them aren't," said Shepherd, who coaches Helena High. "A lot of new kids this year, which is wonderful. We'd like to see the kids get on a golf course."
"I think it's going to be better with the year, you know, the school has a year under their belt. [Montana High School Association], they kind of know what to do. Golf is social distanced by nature. So I think that -- I'm positive that [the players] will have a much more normal season, this year," said Capital's golf coach Casey Lyndes.
However, unlike many fall sports at the high school level, where teams get two weeks of practice before their first event, high school golf in the fall doesn't have that luxury. With less than a week between tryouts and the first event, Helena High and Capital know in order to have success, they have to hit the ground running.
"We make our team and we're literally off the next week to our first tournament in Great Falls. I think if -- as long as we get the fundamentals, do some range time with the kids, make sure that our swings are on track, just for a little bit improvement with all the kids; it really makes a difference. I think if we teach the right fundamentals to the kids, then it will last quite a long time with them to get better at the game," said Shepherd.
With COVID-19 cases beginning to re-appear in Montana, some might be worried about what could happen to this fall season, but for Lyndes, all they can do is use the information they have at that moment until someone tells them otherwise.
"Really, that's all you can do right? I mean it changes so fast day-to-day and we're just going to do what we can to start with," said Lyndes. "Then if we need to change, we'll change with that. But yeah, we just have to go with what we know."
The Bruins and Bengals open their season on Wednesday with tryouts before heading to their first event in Great Falls on Monday.