The North Decatur boys golf team welcomed a new head coach when the season began earlier this month.
North alum David Espinda takes over for Dan Borns, who is now the choir director at Greenwood Community High School.
Espinda, a second-year Algebra II and Geometry teacher at North, coached high school golf at Jac-Cen-Del for two years. After graduating from North, he served active duty for six years and finished his degree in mathematics education at IUPUI. Espinda and his wife have a fourth grade son at North and a daughter in college.
The Chargers return 10 of the 15 golfers who played on varsity or reserve last season. Graduating were Thomas Shobe, Nick Stewart and Charlie Murray, three of North’s top golfers.
Last season, North placed third in the sectional to qualify for the regional as a team. The Chargers won the Mid-Hoosier Conference tournament and posted a 17-5 head-to-head record by winning its last 17.
North is also out to defend its county title. The winning Chargers beat Greensburg by one stroke, and current sophomore Dayne Lecher posted his first meet medalist honors to lead the 18 golfers that day.
According Espinda, the Chargers are aiming for a return to the regionals.
“We’re striving again to advance some golfers to the regional,” he said of the team’s ultimate goal.
Espinda, a North alum who teaches Algebra II and Geometry at the high school, also wants to see the Chargers repeat as conference champions. North will again be the host of the Mid-Hoosier Conference tournament at North Branch Golf Course.
“We’re definitely in the mix,” he said. “We want to repeat, but Indian Creek and South Decatur will be right there, too.”
Espinda said the next few outings will help determine which golfers contribute on varsity regularly. Lecher brings a potential medalist to each meet, while senior David Bokelman and sophomore Brennan Coy have already led the rest of the golfers after the first couple weeks.