Girls golf opens season with 4th place finish in Traverse City tournament

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Ally Stapleton, Editor in Chief

The girls’ varsity golf team opened their season with a rainy tournament on August 21st, the Lober Classic in Traverse City. After a 4th place finish there that senior and captain Novi Dosanjh described as simply “alright,” the team is looking forward to sunnier skies ahead as they refine their skills and gain more experience throughout the season.

“We finished in the middle of the pack in Traverse City,” said head coach Paul TenEyck. “It would be really easy to say I was disappointed, but honestly I was not. It was the first time that many of the girls played in tournaments 2 or even 3 days in row. We are focusing on the process right now and not so much the results, and we grew big time on the course in Traverse City.”

With five returning varsity players this year and strong senior leadership, the golf team seeks to repeat as conference champions, as well as qualify for states again. The team had a strong season last year and hopes to add to that success through hard work and a dedication to continual improvement.

“The girls really want to learn and get better,” TenEyck said. “Our goals are to improve all across the board this season, especially when it comes to our short game.”

Team captains Dosanjh and senior Mackenzie Sobieck both recognize that the team has a few hurdles to overcome this season but express confidence that those adjustments will be made and that the team will be able to achieve its goals. When discussing the team’s greatest strengths, Sobieck highlighted the close team dynamic.

“Most of us have played together since we were freshmen, so we have that to bring us together more,” she said.

Dosanjh also agreed that the team excels in supporting each other and pointed out that, with small improvements, the team has the potential to repeat last year’s successes.

“Our biggest weakness would be getting frustrated on the course easily,” Dosanjh said. “I think the team definitely has potential to do as well as we did last year, because a lot of us just need to work on a few minor things to be just as good.”

TenEyck keeps the team on a strict practice schedule, giving the athletes experience on the course which has already paid off.

“We do not take days off,” TenEyck said. “We had practice last week in the rain, which was beneficial because it rained when we were in Traverse City. We have worked some putting drills that that the girls have improved on as well.”

More intense practices, tougher competition, and loftier goals are just a few of the features of varsity golf that may provide challenges to new athletes.

“A lot of our teammates are new to varsity and are adjusting to the intensity of the varsity schedule,” Sobieck said.

The team hopes that their dedication will pay off at the end of the season as they fight for the conference title and state qualification. The team will face tough competition from Caledonia and Grand Rapids Christian in their quest for the OK White championship, though both TenEyck and the captains remain confident that FHC will be able to come out on top with a combination of experience and hard work.

“We are trying to build on last years success,” Sobieck said. “Last year’s team was especially talented and we hope to build on that momentum.”