Coming into the 2016 girls golf season with high expectations, the young, diverse team thrived when it mattered most. Although this year’s inexperienced team didn’t match the 2015 team in making it to state, they proved themselves worthy of a top spot in the conference.
“This season had a lot different feel than last year,” senior captain Maddie Junkunc said. “Last season was a dominantly senior roster, but this year was much more diverse. We even had a freshman [Ally Ringler] which hasn’t happened in a long time.”
Throughout the season, FHC battled along conference rivals FHN, but finished behind the Huskies in the conference championship by only one stroke.
“Regardless of the loss to Northern, we had a really good season,” freshman Ally Ringler said. “It was tough that it ended the way it did, but we competed and shot pretty well that day.”
Despite the loss in the conference championship, the Rangers season as a whole consisted of predominantly winning ways. FHC battled along conference foes all season with much success. Although the girl’s season didn’t end the way they had wished, they competed and had lots of fun in the process.
“I’m excited for next year,” Ally said. “I’m not sure how the JV team did, but our program’s been growing stronger over the past couple of years. It’ll be interesting to see what the future holds.”
Regardless of having six seniors graduating in the spring, head coach Paul TenEyck and the Lady Ranger underclassmen have high hopes for next year’s season.
“We had a really strong second half of our season,” senior Sydney Reynolds said. “Looking at the underclassmen on this year’s team, I expect them to have a couple of successful seasons in the future.”
Throughout the season, the seniors stepped up to the plate and led the Lady Rangers to key victories. Senior captain Katie Knoor finished out her year as she would have hoped. Although she’s unsure of her college plans now, the prospect of golfing next year is still on the table.
“I am thinking about golfing for Hope College,” Katie said. “But we’ll see because golfing isn’t going to determine where I go to school.”
The Lady Rangers, who finished the season near the top of the conference standings, came on strong during the second half of the season when it mattered most.
“We started off struggling a little but things got better as the season went on,” said Maddie, who joined FHC golf her sophomore year. “It was nice that we finished off strong, and we really came together as a team down the stretch.”
With this season completed, the team will look to carry over the momentum from late this year into next season.
“Next year we hope to continue this season’s winning ways and make it all the way if possible,” Ally said.