Orion boys, girls teeing off

Mindy Carls

The first Orion athletes in action are the boys and girls golfers.

Coach Becky Wilburn’s girls include senior Kaitlyn Wilburn and sophomore Emily Olson.

Players new to the varsity or to Orion are junior SoFia Fernandez and Eleanor Wilburn.

Coach Jeff Bernhardt has a young team. Vaughn Bernhardt is the only senior. Cameron Rascher and Ian Niemeier are juniors, Micah Knox a sophomore and Ian Bollinger and Kaleb Sovey, freshmen.

Bernhardt, who advanced to sectionals last year, and Rascher, Niemeier and Knox are returning varsity letter winners.

Joining the varsity are Bollinger and Sovey.

“Vaughn Bernhardt and Cameron Rascher will battle for the top spot on varsity and could make a deep run in the postseason,” coach Bernhardt said. “Ian Bollinger will vie for a top position as well, once he gets a taste of varsity competition.”

The coach said Niemeier and Knox have shown improvements during camp and the early season.

“They could help the team surprise a few teams,” coach Bernhardt said. “Also, Cameron Rascher coming back from a torn knee will balance our scoring this year.

“We will be much better than we were last year,” the coach said. “We have strong leadership and with the improved play of Micah Knox and the addition of Ian Bollinger we should improve and surprise a few teams in conference play.”

Vaughn Bernhardt and Rascher could make a deep run into the postseason, Coach Bernhardt said.

“We are all excited to have a normal season this year,” the coach said. “We are excited to get back out to play and compete with our much-improved roster from last year.

“We will fall mid-pack in the conference standings, while having two kids with their sights set on playing in Bloomington in October,” he said, referring to the state tournament.

“We are thankful for the season and looking to have a fun and productive year,” Bernhardt said.

Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto
(Photo: Deklofenak, Getty Images/iStockphoto)