With the experience he has in the lineup, Ada boys golf coach Robbie Powell doesn’t see any reason why his team can’t pick up right where it left off last spring.

The Cougars open the 2019 season today at the Wewoka Invitational hosted by the Gil Morgan Municipal Golf Course.

Ada finished seventh at the Class 4A State Tournament a year ago and was breathing down Tuttle’s neck for sixth place.

“I have four returning players from last year’s state tournament team,” Powell said.

Private school juggernaut Heritage Hall will be looking for a three-peat this year and has won a state championship in four of the last five years. Ada’s last state title came in 2013.

“I expect to be pretty solid again this year, but it will be an uphill battle to win a title with Heritage Hall being the front runner again. We will have to play really solid to contend with them,” Powell said.

Senior Max Roberts is expected to lead the way for the Cougars this season.

“Max Roberts is the most experienced tournament golfer of all of those that are returning,” Powell said. “He has been very active over the summer, advancing deep into the Oklahoma State Amateur. He also qualified for a national tournament in South Carolina.”

Roberts, who has signed to play collegiate golf at Northeastern in Tahlequah, finished seventh in the medalist race at the 2018 state tournament.

“I expect him to have a really good senior season,” Powell said.

Matthew Brown is returning for his fourth season of varsity golf and should be a major contributor for the Cougars this year. Brown finished 47th at state.

Sophomore Max Weems made a splash at state last year with a 39th finish as a freshman, and junior Aiden Plumlee was also a state qualifier and finished 49th.

“Aiden Plumlee has worked really hard on a major swing change over the summer, which I think will pay off greatly before the end of the year,” Powell said. “And Mack Weems has played really well so far this year.”

After today’s trip to Wewoka, the Cougars will be off until, March 28, when they travel to the Carl Albert Invitational, hosted by the John Conrad Golf Course.

AHS golf fans will get to see the Cougars in action April 1, when they host the Tournament of Champions at the Oak Hills Golf and Country Club.

Jeff Cali has been covering sports in the Ada area since the mid-90s. He graduated from Byng High School and earned a bachelor’s degree from East Central University.