Triad golf teams getting extra guidance

Triad girls golf coach Patrick Johnson knows he has somewhere to turn when he needs input on his team, a trusted confidant who’s able to provide hands-on assistance.

Cardinals boys golf coach John Millice has that luxury, too.

Both know when they face a challenge, they always can lean on each other.

Although most of their matches are at different sites, Johnson and Millice make sure they hold practices together at Woodland Golf Course and roam between both squads to offer insights.

They even meet together before school each day to exchange ideas.

“It’s like they have two coaches,” Johnson said. “If there’s a golfer working on things, he’ll take a stab at it. If that’s not working, he’ll call me over and say, ‘Hey, look at this. What are you seeing?’ And I do the same thing with him.”

Millice, who played golf for Urbana University in the mid-1990s, is in his second stint with the boys. He led the Cardinals to a state berth in 2006, but he also was a basketball coach at the school and gave up golf after 2011 to free up time for his family.

Johnson became the boys coach but then decided he needed to be home more with his two young children. The two shared coaching duties for a bit, but then Johnson shifted to the girls when they had enough players to field a team.

“We both work really well together,” Millice said. “I’ll go with the girls one day, and he’ll go with the boys. I’m more of the discipline person and more of the control freak. And he’s more the communicator on our team and the organizer. We have our flaws and we have our positives to help out the program.”

The key to the partnership is not caring who gets the credit.

“The kids enjoy it, and that’s the main thing — that it benefits them and helps them improve throughout the year,” Millice said.

The girls team is 9-3 in the Ohio Heritage Conference going into the conference tournament Thursday and is led by senior Macy Linscott, who has been medalist in nine of those matches, averaging about 46 for nine holes. Senior Jess Woodard is the team’s other sub-50 golfer.

Junior Jen Pelfry is an experienced player, and the Cardinals have been relying on three others who are new to the sport: junior Lexi Moore and sophomores Kayleigh Boldman and Kallie Smith.

The Triad boys have been shooting in the high-170s as a team. Millice said that tally likely would have won the league in many years during his first run as coach, but the Cardinals are struggling along at 2-9 this season because the OHC is so strong.

Mechanicsburg and Southeastern went to state last season. West Liberty-Salem made back-to-back trips in 2013-14. And Catholic Central was a 2013 participant.

Cardinal seniors Alec Ober and Caleb Young are shooting 39 to 41 consistently.

“I’d like to see us get to the low 170s as a team,” Millice said. “(Cutting) four or five strokes is tough to do, but that would help us get out of sectionals and give us a chance to finish in the top three in the OHC.”