Spring Sports Preview: Girls’ Golf

Abby Pribila, Copy Editor

The new season of girls’ golf is fastly approaching and the players are excited about the upcoming season. With newcomers like Joseline Gary (12) and returning players like Sierra Dooley (11) and Lillian Dyer (11), the anticipation is getting big. Coach Ken Vecchio and Assistant Coach Brandon Lutz will be returning this year for the new season. Girls’ golf has always been a respected sport at Manitou Springs High School (MSHS) and for the 2020 season, it will continue to be a respected sport.

Players like Dooley and Gary have been playing golf for a long time. “I have been playing since I was six with my dad,” said Gary. Experience tends to help with the skill aspect of golf. Skill is one of the most important components in golf because it is the basis of all parts of the sport. In golf, the goal is to be as precise as possible and get the lowest score possible.

Dyer started playing golf in seventh grade and fell in love with the sport. Dyer has played on the high school team for the past two years as well. “I feel like last season went well because there was an improvement in everyone who joined the team. Golf is a very mental sport so it makes you motivated when someone improves their swing or score, really any small critique they make moves the team forward as a whole,” said Dyer.

With a new season comes new expectations for every player. “I am expecting a strong, well-connected team,” said Dooley, “I hope everyone grows and learns a lot. Golf is primarily individual but I want to encourage a strong team connection.”

Dooley has played on the high school team since her freshman year. “Last season was a lot of fun. We all grew significantly in our ability. Our swings improved and as well as our scores. Every practice was fun and full of laughter. We grew as a team and as individuals,” said Dooley. Dooley hopes to maintain a score between 100 and 110. The lower the score, the better the player does. The objective is to get as close to par as possible or below par.

Some players like Gary have big aspirations for this upcoming season. “I am expecting to improve my score to potentially play in college,” said Gary. Gary is a senior and this is her first year on the MSHS golf team. “There are not any difficulties for me with joining a new team. I love meeting new people and am thrilled about the coming season!” Gary said.

No matter what sport a person is a part of, they usually have a favorite aspect of that sport. As for these players go, they do too. “I love the strategy and challenges that come with each course,” said Gary. Each course is different and presents new obstacles that every player has to overcome. “One of the best feelings is when the club makes perfect contact with the ball and watching it soar through the air,” said Dooley, “I also love meeting the girls from other schools too.” Meeting players from other schools is not very difficult as each player goes through the course with a couple of players from other schools. Dooley also said, “Our team after tournaments also have memorable experiences going to various restaurants.” A perk of being on the golf team is getting to go to dinner after tournaments and bond with the team. “Overall, I think learning how to become less nervous at meets is my favorite part of golf because it teaches me to be a more relaxed and better person in the real world,” said Dyer, who also described that golf is a pathway to learn skills used in everyday life.

All players tend to have a strong suit in the way that they play golf whether it be putting or driving, and it’s no different for these players. “I can hit with my pitching wedge pretty well, it has always been a satisfying club to hit for me and has always been my favorite club. But there is always room to improve with it. Just like any other club,” said Dyer. A pitching wedge is what is used to hit a ball closer to the hole, it goes more up than out in its action. “Golf is a sport where you have to be able to hit a ball long distances, short distances, and put the ball into the hole. I would say my strong suit is short distances,” said Dooley. As for Gary, she says that her strong suit is chipping, which is synonymous with pitching. It creates a short and lobbed shot to usually make the ball onto the green.

Brandon Lutz is returning as an Assistant Coach for this girls’ golf season and it is his second year with the program. “Last season went well. There was a lot of growth made with the girls and their abilities,” said Lutz. Lutz is a gym teacher at Manitou Springs Middle School. Lutz said he is excited about the upcoming season and is hoping for a successful team. For girls golf, there are no captains as the coaches expect that each player will show leadership. The team this year might be a little smaller, as last year Chloe Unruh graduated. She played on the girl’s golf team all four years of her high school career.

Practices are set to begin March 2nd and according to CHSAANow, the first tournament date is going to be Tuesday, March 24th at Trinidad Golf course. The Regionals and State tournaments have not yet been scheduled.

This season of girls’ golf is sure to be successful for the Lady Mustangs. Stay tuned for scores and results for the rest of the season.