CONYERS - For the Salem golf teams, it's going to be a tale of two seasons this spring.
The Salem boys return an experienced squad, coming off a fifth-place finish in last year's Region 8-AAAA Tournament.
Meanwhile, the Salem girls will feature an inexperienced lineup this season.
On the boys side, Stephen Jackson, Sharvil Mehta and Kyle Reagan all return from last year, while Lane Keenan and Miles Goldman are expected to step up and contribute this season after seeing some varsity action last year.
The Seminoles lost Corbin Edwards, a first-team selection on the Citizen's 2007 All-Area Golf Team, to graduation.
"We want to be a contender at the end of the year region tournament," Salem boys coach Chad Estes said. "Lane Keenan and Miles Goldman both played in some varsity matches last year and they should be ready to step in and contribute (this year)."
Estes' main concern early in the season is his team's focus on their short games.
"The thing that most young golfers tend to overlook is the importance of the short game," he said. "We have to become better around the greens if we are going to take it the next level."
The Seminoles won their first match of the season, beating Alcovy 174-190 on their home course at Highland Golf Club. Reagan produced the team's low round with a 41, followed by Jackson and Mehta with 43s and Goldman at 47.
On the girls side, coach Stan Allen is expecting two newcomers - Dari Goldman and Erin Knowles - to be his top two golfers. Jamie Lee is the only returning golfer this year for the Lady Seminoles.
"I actually have two newcomers that will make an impact on my team. They are Dari Goldman and Erin Knowles. They will be No. 1 and No. 2 (golfers) respectively," Allen said. "We are just looking to improve from last year. We have three girls that can play pretty well. I think that is our strength. Plus, the kids get along well."
Last year, the Lady Seminoles finished ninth in the region tournament.
Allen's main concern right now is getting his team some experience playing matches.
"We are pretty inexperienced in match play," he said. "Once the girls get used to playing in matches, we will be all right."
The Salem girls won their first match of the season against Alcovy. The match was shortened to six holes due to darkness.
The Salem squads will return to action at Highland against Newton at 4 p.m. Monday.
Jeff Gillespie can be reached at email@example.com.
SideBar: At a glance
· Teams: Salem golf
· Coaches: Chad Estes (boys), Stan Allen (girls)
· Last year: Salem boys finished fifth in Region 8-AAAA; Salem girls finished ninth in 8-AAAA.
· Next match: Monday vs. Newton at Highland, 4 p.m.