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story.lead_photo.caption Democrat photo/Kevin LabotkaCalifornia Pintos boys golfers practice March 19. The Pintos open their season next week against Eldon, Warsaw and Osage at Osage National Golf Course.

The California boys golf team has set some high goals as it gets ready for the new season.

Head coach Doug Miller said some of those goals include a district championship crown and a top-five finish in state this year.

In the early parts of the season, Miller said the team is focusing on hitting the greens, hitting the fairways and not trying to do too much too early.

As the season moves along, Miller said he wants to see the golfers work hard, even when they are not playing their best.

"I want to see them, when they are not playing their best, I still want to see them grinding out the score," Miller said. "Don't give up and be like 'Hey, I am not shooting my normal score, but I am still going to keep grinding out.' Don't give up."

From what he has seen in practices so far, Miller said the team has a lot of freshmen that are playing pretty well and can press the upperclassmen for spots on the varsity team.

"Nobody can get complacent this year because we have a lot of good golfers and competition for the varsity spots," Miller said. "I really like that so far. This year, with dual sports athletes, I've got three baseball players that have been coming out after baseball practice and on the weekends that are really going to help us, as well."

While there is added competition for spots on the varsity team, Miller said the upperclassmen have been good role models for the younger golfers, which has not always been the case in the past.

"In the past there has been some jealousy, with those younger guys pushing them. The older guys have been good role models; they have helped (the younger golfers) and it has been more fun this year," Miller said. "To see what's going on, I don't think they are at that level where (the younger golfers) are going to take them yet, but you can't slack off. It has been a good, friendly rivalry. It has been good this year."

California boys golf season schedule

March 30 - 4 p.m., vs. Eldon, Warsaw, Osage, at Osage National Golf Course

March 31 - 8:30 a.m., at Russellville Tournament at Redfield Country Club

April 6 - 4 p.m., vs. Fatima

April 8 - 9 a.m., at Boonville Tournament

April 12 - 4 p.m., vs. Osage

April 14 - 9 a.m., at Southern Boone Classic at Eagle Knoll

April 15 - 4 p.m., vs. Osage

April 20 - 4 p.m., vs. Jefferson City

April 22 - 1 p.m., at Centralia quad at Old Hawthorne Golf Course

April 28 - 9 a.m., at Tri-County Conference Tournament at Boonville

April 29 - 4 p.m., at Eldon

May 10 - 9 a.m., at Class 2 District 4 Tournament at Buffalo Kare Kjar Golf Course

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