ILWACO, Wash. - Losing two state tournament competitors and another solid varsity golfer would cause most coaches to claim a rebuilding year, but Ilwaco's Dan Whealdon is simply reloading, predicting a third-place finish in District IV when the fall season is completed.

The Fishermen will hopefully end the year that began with practice Aug. 25 at the end of May 2004. The 2A boys golf season finale isn't until the spring, even though the brunt of the season is contested during the better weather of September and October.

Ilwaco Golg glance2002 record: second place District IV, 9-1 dual match record

Key players lost: Adam Ellsworth, Christiaan Thorne, David Thorne

Key returnees: Peter Gaynor, Ryan Gray, Michael Lambert, Nick King

Outlook: Third place in District with Gaynor playing on the final day of State is not out of the picture for the Fishermen golfers."We will play 10 matches this fall and two next spring in preparation for state," Whealdon says. "I'm hopeful Peter Gaynor will make the final cut at state this season." The Fishermen have Ryan Gray and Michael Lambert who both competed at district last year and Nick King who has played at the varsity level to form a strong team.

Other returnees include Derek Yasunaka, Travis Ostgaard and Tom Browning. Those seven experienced golfers will be joined by Mark Wirkkala, Quinn and Cory Padgett, Michael Leach, Allen Mossman and Matt Lessnau to make up a large contingent of linksters for Ilwaco.

"The kids really like to play golf and they work hard at their sport," Whealdon says. The Fishermen are hoping the season will last nearly nine months and not three.

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