By Owen Gotimer
(November 5, 2014) – As the high school fall sports season starts its playoff push this week, the Tuscarora High School golf team is still celebrating its fourth place finish at the VHSL 5A state championship at Meadowbrook Country Club in Richmond on Oct. 13 and 14.
“It was pretty rewarding. One of our goals right out of tryouts was to get to states and win the region,” Tuscarora head coach Jeff Kaplan said. “I actually had a quote that I put on their golf bags that said ‘every hole, one goal, win states’ which motivated the kids to do well this year.”
Senior duo Thomas Truluck and Chad Stocks led the Huskies team to the first state tournament in the school’s short five year history.
“As a freshman, I set myself a goal that one year I wanted to make states. It was a dream come true for me. I was loving every single second,” said Truluck who hopes to walk on to the Division I golf team at Radford University next fall. “Typically you would be more nervous for a state tournament, but for me, I was actually less nervous because I made it and reached my goal.”
Truluck claimed the No. 1 spot at the Conference 14 and Potomac District Championships shooting an 18-hole school record 66. He helped the Huskies to the team title in the championships shooting a team record 314. Truluck finished ninth at the state tournament five spots behind his teammate Stocks.
Stocks – who did not start golfing until the eighth grade – also hit the Tuscarora record books when he shot a 31 on a 9-hole round.
“They’re my top two. They’ve been with me for four years,” Kaplan said. “They’re good leaders and very mature young men.”
Kaplan noted the reason his team performed at a higher level this year was the leadership he had from his seniors including Kyle Chang, Thomas Kronenberg, Michael McHale, Stocks and Truluck.
“The seniors were pretty tight. They were good leaders,” Kaplan said. “When I was going to show up to practice late or if I was going to be busy at practice, they would step up and take over to run the practice. I’ve never had that type of leadership. That was probably the big difference from the last couple years.”
While five senior golfers are set to graduate in the spring, Truluck reaffirmed Tuscarora’s ability for the future as the Huskies will return juniors Eric Brouse, Trevor Hutchinson and Parker Morton and sophomore Jeremy Siu.
“I have some strong golfers coming back,” Kaplan said. “Three golfed in the state tournament and four scored in tournaments this year.”
Hutchinson – who shot a two-round 174 at the state tournament – scored a VHSL 5A North region tournament low 74 at Greens Folly Golf Course in South Boston on Oct. 6 under what Kaplan said were very windy and tough conditions.
“As a team, it was pretty awesome. It was nice having our number six come from behind like that,” Truluck said of Hutchinson who slid in as the six man for Tuscarora’s region-bound squad. “It’s pretty rare to have a number six come out of nowhere and shoot the round of his life. It was pretty crazy.”
Owen Gotimer is a graduate of Heritage High School in Leesburg and is currently in his senior year at Syracuse University. Follow LoCoSports on Twitter (@LoCoSports) for up-to-date news and scores from around Loudoun County.