Brandon Smith does not talk to his Lexington golf team about winning a sixth consecutive Class 4A championship.
"We talk a bit about winning this one," said Smith, who is in his first season as coach of the Wildcats, a program that has won five titles in as many years.
"If we win this one, it will be six in a row but we don't talk about that aspect of it," he said.
"I think about it, but it's a long way away and we have a busy schedule, so it's just not in the forefront right now," said senior Maureen Dunnagan, a 2008 all-state player.
The Wildcats are in strong position to acheive the feat this season, though.
Dunnagan and Kathryn Miranda are the only two returners from last year's top five, but that is plenty, Smith said.
"You start and end with them. They are both excellent leaders on and off the course. Either of them can lead us on any day and the younger girls look up to them," Smith said.
Their presence has made the transition smoother for the new coach. Smith coached the Strom Thurmond boys golf team before joining Lexington's staff as a math teacher and assistant athletics director in 2006. This summer he took over for coach Bryce Myers, who led the Wildcats on their five-title stretch.
"Coach Myers did a great job with the program, establishing it, making it so strong, and we're not changing a lot from what he did," Smith said.
Still, Smith has been able to make an impact on the team.
"He's been extremely helpful and we're very organized," Dunnagan said.
In her sixth season with the Wildcats, Dunnagan has served as a mentor to new young players on the team, such as seventh-grader Lauren Stephenson.
"I think she's better than I was in 7th grade," said Dunnagan, who placed sixth in the state as a seventh-grader on the Wildcats' first championship team. "She's definitely more mature in her practice. Lauren's a sweetheart and she practices really hard. I think she is going to be a great player. She fits in well with all of us. We're really happy to have Lauren," Dunnagan said.
Just a few weeks into the season, Stephenson has proved a valuable addition to the Wildcats' starting foursome. Junior Rachel Moore has stepped up to round out that group.
And though the Wildcats are largely inexperienced beyond the top four, the coach does not believe they are at a disadvantage.
"Our strong suit is the tradition that we have here. The players that haven't been a part of that want to step in and play up to that level and keep that tradition strong," Smith said.
After all, the Wildcats really do want that sixth consecutive championship.
Not that you would hear them mention it.