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Artesia golfers ready to defend crowns

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ARTESIA — The calendar may say January, but for Artesia’s Dusty Bean he’s thinking about spring.

Bean is the head golf coach at Artesia High School and Monday was the first day of practice for those teams who will be in the great outdoors in a couple of months.

Last season, the Bulldog and Lady Dog linksters won the state title. For the girls it was a repeat. “The boys winning state was a huge accomplishment,” Bean said.

“The girls had won state the year before and so we knew with the girls, kind of where we stood,” Bean added.  “We didn’t lose anybody, so we knew going in that we were the favorites.”

In years past, Bean said the boys took multiple second and third place trophies at state. He said Artesia had a hunger to be the “Top Dog” in 5-A golf last season.

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“For the boys to pull that off last year, was just amazing and sparked a little bit of ‘we can actually do this’ in our 2018 team,” Bean said.

Bean is picking the Bulldogs to win state again this year. “Our leadership is fantastic and we lost a bunch of boys last year.”

Tanner Parker, Giovonni Huitron and Jake Craft were some of the key players from last season.

“Jake Craft was our no. 1 and was one the best senior leaders I ever had and Tanner Parker came in and in his first varsity season, he played JV for several years and in his first varsity season just really helped us,” Bean said.

Bean said there are some other members who are ready to step up. Hector Flores, Wesley Davis and freshman Kincaid Jackson are some of the golfers Bean will be looking to this season to repeat.

 

“For our girls team last year it was a culmination of work that we had done,” Bean said. “Individually our kids are good, as a team our kids are great.”

This year, Bean said he’ll be keeping an eye on Lovington and Albuquerque St. Pius.

“We know the target is on our back,” he said. “We know that they want to beat us and we want to beat them too.”

Bean added, “we love the competition, I respect St. Pius, they’re a good team. Los Lunas has some good players, their no. 1 player is coming back. There’s some great teams across the state, but we have some great teams here.”

Bean admits that the weather will be unpredictable for the next month or so as the winds can blow at 50 mph or more. He said if that’s the case then practices are called off. “Our kids are always mentally preparing,” he said.

“That’s one thing I’ve really been pushing our kids is mental preparedness and things that we can do to get ready for when we tee it up.”

Bean said he is a taskmaster when it comes to his players knowing the rules of golf.

“If they can’t call somebody else out on the rules, if they can’t tell somebody what they’re doing is incorrect then they can’t play varsity,” he said.

“The kids on our team, not only do they make good grades, not only are they fantastic individuals, their integrity level is very high.To play golf you have to have a high level of integrity to do the right thing all the time,” Bean said.

Bean said this year’s schedule hasn’t been finalized that should be done later this week in Roswell. He said coaches from all across the region are expected to gather Friday to work on schedules.

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