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Glenboro, MB (Westman Journal) – One of Manitoba’s most talented young golfers has decided to put the clubs in the shed for the summer, to allow his focus to remain on his WHL hockey career.

Glenboro’s Zach Wytinck, who was a member of Team Manitoba at the 2017 Canada Games just wrapped up his 2nd season with the Brandon Wheat Kings and posted a career year, scoring once and adding 19 assists for 23 points.

Heading into his 19-year-old season, Wytinck felt that he needs to spend the summer in the gym, not on the links.

“I’ve always loved both sports,” said Wytinck. “I think the competitiveness, pace and team aspect of hockey has always drawn me to it more than golf. When I got the opportunity to play for the Wheat Kings, I felt it was something i’d wanted and showed me that hockey was the right decision.”

For Wytinck, he doesn’t have to look far to see where either sport can take him. His brother Josh was the 2014 University Golf Champion with the Manitoba Bison and played pro golf for a number of years before turning to coaching. On the other side of the coin, Glenboro’s Cale Jefferies, a former Wheat King has been an inspiration for Wytinck on the hockey side. Jefferies recently wrapped up a five year university hockey career with the Guelph Gryphons.

After recently aging out of the “Junior” category in the golf world, Wytinck has turned his attention to his off season training in the gym and on the ice.

“I’m working with Paul Thompson at Outperforme Athletics right now and i’m focused on building strength and power,” said Wytinck. “I’m also working hard with (Wheat Kings Skills Coach) Dave Lewis on the ice and on the track to get faster.”

After playing 29 games in his rookie season and splitting the year with the Wheaties and the Southwest Cougars, Wytinck’s career year in 17/18 has him excited for the future.

“I am pretty happy with my development especially looking back to last year when I was sent down until now,” added Wytinck. “I am getting older now and I want to contribute more and be that much better this year. As a team we went through some ups and downs but I think the way we finished says a lot about the guys in the room.”

After regularly competing in the Manitoba Junior Championship, the Manitoba Men’s Amateur Championship and the Manitoba Junior Golf Tour in summers gone by, the Wheat King defenseman says he will keep the golf to a fun weekend event with friends and family.

“I’ve really put golf in the backseat you could say. I plan to play on the weekends and get as many rounds in as I can with my brother. He’s getting older now so I have to take advantage and maybe beat him for a change,” said Wytinck with a chuckle.

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