A look at this year's Commerce boys' golf team:
•Coach: Matthew Lund
•Returning starters: Henry Sharpton, Landon Worley
•Other key contributors: Thomas Harden, Lawton Mobley
•Strengths: Only a sophomore, Henry Sharpton may be one of the top players in Class A Public. He consistently shoots in the 70s and has improved his game over the off season “tremendously,” according to coach Matthew Lund. Sharpton was the junior Champion at both Double Oaks and Chimney Oaks Golf Courses. Sharpton is joined by Landon Worley, the team's most improved player last year. Called a “superb athlete,” by Lund, Worley will likely serve as the No. 2 player in the lineup all season. Lawton Mobley and Thomas Harden are new to the team as seniors, but could serve as key contributors. Lund added that the team chemistry this season “is the best we've had in years.”
•Weaknesses: Depth could be a major issue with Commerce returning no returners outside Sharpton and Worley. Though Harden and Mobley have talent, they are new to competition. Lund said newcomers Chance Stancil and Lane Rumbaugh could provide depth towards the end of the season. Lund said the graduation of Jeremy Davis, the team’s leader on and off the course for four years and now a college golfer, is significant. “Our young returners will have to pick up where he left off in many areas,” Lund said.
•Area outlook: Commerce’s area includes Lake Oconee Academy, which should have three players capable of shooting under par and could be the top team in Class A-Public. Defending area champion ACE Charter returns its top player. “We are right in with Lincoln County, Towns County and Washington Wilkes as a team that can certainly advance to state with a successful tournament showing (at the area tournament),” Lund said.
•Season outlook: The season hinges on the development of the team’s No. 3 and 4 players. If Mobley and Harden produce decent rounds and build confidence throughout the season, the Tigers may not only advance to state, but make a respectable showing, according to Lund. “This is a terrific group of guys that have enjoyed working together already and are looking very much forward to helping each other improve,” the coach said. “Sharpton is the star, no doubt about it. Worley has a chance to become a major player in the area and state as well. But our depth will be the key to the whole season.”