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The Student-Run News Site of Westside High School in Omaha, Nebraska. Keeping you WIRED in to all things Westside.

Westside Wired

The Student-Run News Site of Westside High School in Omaha, Nebraska. Keeping you WIRED in to all things Westside.

Westside Wired

The Student-Run News Site of Westside High School in Omaha, Nebraska. Keeping you WIRED in to all things Westside.

Westside Wired

Freshman shoots 72 at Fremont Invite

Pocras was promoted to varsity as a freshman.

Freshman Knox Pocras has been tearing up the high school golf circuit as of late. He just recently played his first high school tournament at the one spot on the team. Pocras was promoted to varsity after assisting his team in the Fremont  invitational. Pocras, alongside juniors Chris Whittle and Trevor Gutschewski, all shot 72, with senior veteran Jackson Benge shooting a 74.

Reflecting back on his golf journey so far, Pocras can see how his mindset has changed as his play has gotten more and more competitive.

“When I started it was just hitting it around and trying to make good contact,” Pocras said. “But now with competition it’s a completely different mindset and type of sport. Especially when you are trying to keep up with the best in the state that are two or three years older than me, it’s a very mental and stressful game.”

Even though coach Jered Hellman has only been working with Knox for not even a full season, he can see long lasting potential.

“Although Knox is a freshman, he doesn’t handle himself like a typical freshman or younger athlete does,” Hellman said. “Knox is in control of his emotions on the golf course and carries himself like someone much older and mature student athlete which is a true testament to Knox’s upbringing and his hard work.  Knox’s dad is a very accomplished golfer, and very respected in the golf community. Hap and I have had an open line of communication about Knox’s golf upbringing, what he has worked with him on and his progression.  Together they have worked really hard, and Knox’s golf intelligence, his course management, and his composure are all testaments to that hard work and superior guidance from dad.”

Pocras understands the importance of being where he is at, given his age. Playing on such a talented team leaves tons of room for improvement and mentorship. Knox thinks that this will help him grow as a player overall.

“On our team we have some of the best players in the state,” Pocras said. “Playing with them alone would help me get a lot better. But it’s even better since I get to know them on a personal level.”

Playing the one spot as a freshman is nothing short of impressive. Knox comes from a long line of consistent athletes. His father, Hap Pocras, played Division one golf at the University of Miami Florida and the University of Nebraska Lincoln. Growing up with this influence has undoubtedly shaped him into the player he is today.

“My dad has always been a big help,” Pocras said. “When I didn’t want to play he encouraged me to go out and reminded me that I would be happy if I did it after it was over. Fundamentals were another big thing. He has been playing for pretty much his whole life, so he has pretty much everything down which helped me alot.”

Knox’s sister, sophomore Lucy has seen first hand how her brother has gotten to where he is today. She believes that his hard work and determination will help him for years to come.

“Knox has always been a very determined person,” Lucy said. “During the summer especially he has always tried to play 18 holes at least 6 times a week. Even during the winter, he tries to hit balls at an indoor simulator as much as he can. I think all that hard work has really paid off and helped him ease into high school golf.”

Moving forward, both Hellman know that there is a way to go until Knox will be ready to play beyond the high school level. Luckily for them, there is plenty of time for development to take place.

“My overall goal is for my scoring average to get down to low 70s,” Pocras said. “Just play consistently enough to stay with the top guys. As well as having a good time with my teammates and seeing the guys from other parts of Nebraska.”

Reflecting on the Creighton Prep invitational, where Knox played the one spot, Hellman is bittersweet. Overall he is proud of Knox and cannot wait until to see how he develops from this point.

“The Prep invite came with mixed emotions, the online scoring was incorrect,” Hellman said. “I was under the assumption that if Knox made a par on the last hole, we would win the event as a team.  I relayed this to Knox on the tee on the 18th; he was receptive to the information, so I shared that a par wins it for us.  The hole was playing difficult and he made a really nice putt to make a par.  I hugged him at the end and told him how proud I was of him.  It was a big moment, and we both thought it was for the win.  We quickly found that the information I had was wrong and we lost by at least 1 stroke.  So, it was bittersweet as I was still really proud of Knox for stepping up when the pressure was on, but disappointed we didn’t win the team title.  However, we also respect the fact that Southeast was better than us, beat us, and we went right back to work and got them at our next event.”

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About the Contributor
Will Oakes
This is my first year on Sports Journalism.  Blondes have more fun.
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