I had the opportunity to play golf at Genoa Lakes right before my recent surgery, and I came away very impressed with the course.
With multiple tee boxes, it gives golfers of all abilities a chance to post good scores. Another thing I liked is that there is a lot of target golf involved, meaning you have to hit certain distances on certain holes to set up the best approach shot. You can’t just whack it as hard as you can on every hole, like you can on some courses. There also is a number of risk-reward holes, and those are great for the above-average golfer. For a hacker like me, those kind of holes don’t make a difference because I hardly reach any par-4s in two.
The course was in tremendous shape. That’s a far cry from the previous year, when the course hosted the U.S. Open qualifier with a couple of temporary greens, then was shut down for a while to get the greens back in shape. This year, the course was able to rebound from any adverse winter weather.
I’ve always said that Genoa Lakes and Dayton Valley are the top courses among the Divine Nine, and after sampling Genoa Lakes, my mind hasn’t changed.
While we’re on the subject of golf, the American Century Championship and the Reno-Tahoe Open are right around the corner. The star-studded ACC is at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Club from July 16-21, while the RTO is slated for July 29-Aug. 4. Both tournaments use the Modified Stableford scoring system, and both courses boast three great finishing holes.
I’ve watched Carson High’s summer team play, and I know there is a long way to go until next spring, but there are some big question marks.
I’m most concerned about pitching depth. Jace Zampirro and Chase Blueberg, the team’s top pitchers from a year ago, are both back. However, coach Bryan Manoukian needs to develop a dependable third starter by the time next spring rolls around.
Manoukian will be taking long looks at Chazz Nystrom (2.74 ERA, 15 1/3 innings), Dustin Dutcher (8.75 ERA, 12 innings), Danny Guthrie (9.95 ERA, 6.1 innings), Brandon Allen (8.88 ERA, 8 2/3 innings), Joe Nelson and John Holton. The latter two pitched at the JV level last season. Holton holds an edge over Nelson; he threw 5 2/3 strong innings against McQueen and threw three shutout innings against the Reno Aces.
Another issue is catching. Zak Harjes has graduated and Nevin Elliott has decided to concentrate on football only this summer, leaving Joe Birri as the only catcher. I’m not sure whether Elliott will come back out for the team next spring. Hopefully he does. If he doesn’t, Manoukian will be looking for a second catcher from the JV ranks or even an incoming freshman. Gehrig Tucker is good enough to be the starting catcher, but he’s too valuable at shortstop.
Holton could step in and play a big role at third next spring, replacing the graduated Charlie Banfield.
I got a few face-to-face comments and a couple of e-mails regarding my rant about honoring too many baseball and softball players. All were positive. Even a couple of baseball coaches I spoke to after the column was published agreed with my assessment of the situation.
Will things change? Probably not. Athletics in Northern Nevada has developed the Little League mentality, which is a shame.