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The members of last year’s Hilen Cup all-tournament team are back for another year of golf. From left are Franklin County’s Abe VanHouten, Sawyer Hulette and Camden Good, Frankfort’s Garrett Wellman and Western Hills’ Jackson Whitaker and Brandon Webb. (State Journal file photo)

The postseason has been a hot topic for high school golf in the past year.

Some changes have been made, including who qualifies for the state tournament.

In years past, the top two teams in each regional tournament, along with the three golfers not on either team who post the lowest scores, advanced to the state tournament.

This year, the only team that qualifies out of a regional tournament is the regional champion. In addition, the seven golfers with the best scores not on the championship team will also advance.

“I like it,” Franklin County boys coach Kevin Hall said. “I think you’ll have more teams represented. We have some, who if they work hard, have an outside shot to make it to state.”

Western Hills boys coach Adam Nicholson doesn’t have a preference on the postseason format.

“I’m trying to get them to that level right now,” he said. “Once they get there I’ll worry about the format.”

FCHS and WHHS both open the season Monday in the Shelby County Rocket Invitational at Weissinger Hills, and Franklin County is hosting the 21st annual Flyer Classic Tuesday at Juniper Hill. The 23-team field includes Western Hills.

Frankfort High, under first-year coach Eric Andersen, opens its season against Carroll County Friday at Juniper Hill.

“Right now we’re sitting around six or seven kids,” Andersen said. “In our May term, one of the classes went to the driving range, and a few of them who took that class wanted to try out, but this will be the first year they've actually played competitively.”

FHS returns three players, sophomore Garrett Wellman, junior Nate O’Bryan and senior Will O’Bryan.

Will O’Bryan is the only senior on the team, but that could change as the Panthers near their season opener.

Andersen is a coach with the FHS baseball program, serving as an assistant coach for the varsity team and head coach for the junior varsity and middle school teams.

He took over the golf program about three weeks ago.

“Our first practice is Monday,” Andersen said, “and I’m excited to see how everyone looks, to see their mechanics and what I can do to help them get to the next level.”

FCHS has 12 players out this year, including eight who played on last year’s team.

The returners include the team’s two seniors, Camden Good and Sawyer Hulette. Junior Abe VanHouten and freshman Will Dowler, who both played in the top five last season, are also back.

“I’m looking for good team leadership from our seniors,” Hall said. “We’re looking for a 315 at Juniper Hill. We shot 324 last year.”

The Flyer Classic will have a shotgun start at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Western Hills also has 12 players out this year. The Wolverines lost just two players off last year’s squad and have two newcomers.

The team’s top five from last year — Brandon Webb, Jackson Whitaker, Jaxson Hill, Tommy Quarles and Carter Smith — are all back.

Webb is the team’s only senior.

“One of the new guys could be moving in and out of the top five,” Nicholson said. “We have a lot of guys who have put in a lot more practice this year than they have in years past, and we have two guys (Whitaker and Smith) who played on the junior tour, so they’ve been playing all year.”

The three teams will be playing in the Hilen Cup Aug. 27-28 at Juniper Hill, and the Region 9 Tournament will be Sept. 24 at Kearney Hill Golf Links in Lexington.

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