Coming into the season, the Murray County Central boys' golf team wasn't sure what success would look being a first year team.
But the Rebels will find out if they can reach the apex starting Tuesday when they join the rest of the field for the Class A state tournament.
"We didn't know how it was going to work or how well they were going to do," said MCC head coach Kim DeLong. "They've been out on that course many summers, so now they've had the opportunity to be a team."
And a true team they have become. Even their coach was surprised just how deep their games were.
"I don't think we realized how deep of a team that we had. They've had an impressive year," DeLong said. "They've had five of the six golfers consistently shoot in the low 40s. They pick each other up.
"They've taken different opportunities and there's not always only one person that's the medalist. They've taken turns at that. It's been fun for them."
The Rebels, who consistently won duals, accomplished one of their first goals by winning the Red Rock Conference tournament, shooting a 340 team score.
"I think that was one of their goals and it brought a little excitement," said DeLong.
The next step for the MCC boys came in the Section 3A-South sub-section. Coach DeLong said it was a matter of staying on their game and not losing concentration on the goal.
"They still needed to stay focused because they had sub-sections and sections," DeLong said. "And little by little, they got closer to making that state appearance."
A team score of 331 at the sub-section meet in Worthington meant 18 holes stood between them and one of the final steps to their goal of reaching the state tournament.
The Rebels conquered that step by shooting a 333 at the Section 3A Championship in Marshall on May 30.
In the two tournaments, the top four scores were within six strokes of each other, the exact consistency DeLong has come to expect from the team.
"It's great. If someone has a bad hole, someone else is there to pick them up," DeLong said. "Five out of the six have been shooting in the low 40s and they can count on each other. They look forward to the next one coming in."
Going into the Class A state tournament at Pebble Creek Golf Course in Becker, the MCC boys have been putting time in working around the green.
"We've been working on our short game, chipping and putting," DeLong said. "They've had a good year, but they will hopefully have a couple consistent rounds and be ready to play when they get to that first tee."
The Rebels have a 9:20 a.m. practice round on Monday morning, but they haven't been waiting until then to study the course.
"We're looking at the yardage, looking at the course hole-by-hole. We're looking at some possible trouble spots, places to stay away from," DeLong said. "We're looking to see if we want to use a driver or an iron off the tee box.
"Knowing what works for them, their distance. They know their game. They've been playing several years, so now it's nice to get the opportunity to play at the state meet."
And on Tuesday, they will have the chance to reach their ultimate goal in their first year as a team - to win the state championship.
"They want to win the state tournament. But they need to play their game," DeLong said. "They need to relax, enjoy the rounds. They'll post their scores and hopefully get in the low 320's. That will be their best chance."