The Licking Heights High School boys golf team will be a work in progress this season.

The Licking Heights High School boys golf team will be a work in progress this season.

Just two letterwinners have returned and there are only four golfers on the roster.

Senior Troy Hickman, a three-year letterwinner who was honorable mention all-LCL the past two seasons, is back to lead the way. He averaged 47.5 strokes per nine holes last fall.

Nick Krantz, a two-year letterwinner, returns after averaging 51.2 per nine holes.

"Troy Hickman does not miss many fairways," third-year coach Tyler Hennen said. "He knows his strengths and weaknesses. He hits it straight, but not very long."

Licking Heights finished 12th (424) in a 13-team Division I sectional at Clover Valley last year as New Albany (296) won. None of the Hornets qualified individually to the district tournament.

"Nick Krantz worked a lot on his game this summer and has improved tremendously on his short game," said Hennen, whose team went 0-27 in the LCL last season to finish last behind champion Johnstown (26-1).

Rounding out the roster are freshmen Zack Showalter and Alex Melick.

"Zack Showalter is a consistent ball-striker but lacks touch around the greens, which is common for a young golfer," Hennen said. "Alex Melick is decently long off the tee, but also lacks touch around the greens.

"These two freshmen will play varsity all season. They will get better as the year goes on and will be a good core for years to come."

Licking Heights opened in the Utica Invitational on Aug. 6 at The Links at Echo Springs and placed fifth (441) behind Johnstown (324), Northridge (336), Utica (356) and Licking Valley (367). Hickman carded a 90 and was followed by Krantz (96), Showalter (127) and Melick (128).

The Hornets matched that score the following day in the first round of the four-round LCL tournament at The Links at Echo Springs. They finished 10th behind Newark Catholic (312), Granville (314), Watkins Memorial (316), Northridge (333), Johnstown (338), Utica (357), Licking Valley (363), Heath (365) and Lakewood (385). Hickman had a 96 and was followed by Krantz (98), Showalter (117) and Melick (130).

Last season in the LCL, the format consisted of preseason and postseason tournaments and a dual match against each opponent.