Girls Golf: Warriors working toward more success
Brainerd Warriors Head coach: Todd Person (fourth year) 2015 finish: Third place in CLC, third in Section 8-3A Returning section team members: Emily Aga, Julia Wallace, Faith Bohnenstingl, Rachel Cleveland Assistant coach: Marcus Aulie One thing ...
Head coach: Todd Person (fourth year)
2015 finish: Third place in CLC, third in Section 8-3A
Returning section team members: Emily Aga, Julia Wallace, Faith Bohnenstingl, Rachel Cleveland
Assistant coach: Marcus Aulie
One thing Todd Person won't have to worry about is a lack of work ethic.
A handful of his Brainerd Warriors have already been fine-tuning their game with Master PGA professional Chris Foley at Cragun's Legacy Courses.
Despite having played only one practice round, Person has been pleased with the confidence with which his girls are swinging the club.
"First off, it's really nice to have that work ethic there and I think it's contagious," said Person. "A few of them started to work on their games and the rest saw the results and those things that happen.
"I've been out and watched Chris give some of his lessons and just the way he's able to work indoors with his technology and the facility he has out at the Legacy it's really impressive. Just even in a 30- to 60-minute lesson, the improvements that are made, and the girls can see that. It's gratifying that they know what they're doing is going to help them in the spring. You can tell as soon as we're outside hitting balls that the confidence is there."
Along with the desire to get better and the work ethic to make it happen, the Warriors have returning talent to improve on last year's third-place finish in the Central Lakes Conference and Section 8-3A standings.
Leading that list is senior Emily Aga, who has already committed to playing golf next year at Rocky Mountain College (Billings, Mont.).
Last year Aga earned All-CLC honors and finished 15th in the section tournament with matching rounds of 91.
"We have one round in and she played very well," said Person. "She played a lot last summer competitively. "That really shows just with how she's striking the ball early in the year."
Julia Wallace finished 24th in the section and received all-conference honorable mention. The junior captain is finding confidence in her driver and that could mean trouble for opposing teams.
"She was voted a captain this year and her first round out went very well as well," Person said. "Last year, she struggled off the tee with her driver a lot. This year she has already been hitting her driver off the tee. She's just a real long hitter. She's a strong girl and that's good to see that she has some confidence with her driver because that is such an advantage for her."
Faith Bohnenstingl finished 43rd and Rachel Cleveland 44th at last year's section meet. Person hopes for improvement from both veterans. He's already been surprised with their ball-striking ability.
Look for freshmen Abby Pohlkamp and Ellie Bymark to stake a claim on the six-person varsity roster.
"She went out on her first round and was third on the team," Person said of Pohlkamp. "She hadn't touched a club since last year. She has such great touch and feel around the greens. She's a very athletic girl and it's just going to take her a little bit of time to get the full swing back into shape. She'll be a solid player.
"Ellie worked with Chris all offseason and he was pleased with her progression during that time," said Person. "We look for her to break into that varsity slot this year as well. Ellie came up last year as an eighth-grader and played some JV. Both her and Abby, I'm sure they'll see time on the varsity."
Juniors Maggie Mattson and Maren Pelowski also put in time this offseason to land a varsity spot. Mattson was fifth in the team's lone round this season.
"Maggie hits the ball very well, but just gets herself into trouble rebounding from the tough shots," Person said. "She just needs to figure it out mentally concerning how she's going to overcome those adversities. She'll be a good player for sure.
"Maren last year played a huge mix of JV and varsity and got a lot of experience," Person said. "She worked at the Legacy all summer and took lessons with Chris in the winter and is working hard to get it together. Similar to Maggie she hits the ball well and just needs to figure out the mental side of it."
Sophomore Annika Christiansen was another player Foley praised for her development and work ethic this offseason. Person expects her to get lots of competitive rounds in between junior varsity and varsity play.
In the grand scheme of things, Person is looking for one score. He just needs that one score from four different girls on a consistent basis.
"Four 82s would have won the section last year," Person said. "We keep telling the girls that they don't need to shoot 73s. We just need four solid rounds and I think in Emily and Julia we have that for sure and we just need to find two more."
Seniors: Emily Aga, Rachel Cleveland
Juniors: Faith Bohnenstingl, Maggie Mattson, Maren Pelowski, Julia Wallace
Sophomores: Annika Christiansen, Maddie Lund
Freshman: Libby Zemke, Abby Pohlkamp, Ellie Bymark, Nicole Hartman, Alexis Menghini, Mackenzie Zimmerman, Abbie Newman, Caroline Benson
April 11: in CLC meet at Blackberry Ridge in Sartell
April 18: in CLC meet at Rich Springs Golf Course in Cold Spring
April 21: in CLC meet at Oak Hill in Rice
April 23: hosts Brainerd Invite at Cragun's Legacy Courses in East Gull Lake
April 28: in CLC meet at Eagle Creek Golf Course in Willmar
May 3: host CLC meet at Pine Beach East at Madden's Resort in East Gull Lake
May 5: in CLC meet at Pebble Lake Golf Course in Fergus Falls
May 9: in CLC meet at Alexandria Golf Club in Alexandria
May 11: hosts Brainerd Invite at The Classic at Madden's
May 12: in St. Cloud Invite at St. Cloud Country Club
May 17: in CLC meet at Wapicada Golf Course in St. Cloud
May 23: in CLC meet at Territory Golf Club in St. Cloud
JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at 855-5856 or firstname.lastname@example.org . Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jeremymillsop .