Local golfers ready selves for regional

Photos by Corey Stolzenbach/The Herald
Jasper will be entering Saturday's regional at Country Oaks Golf Course off a Sept. 19 sectional championship. From left: Coach Jan Tellstrom, Avery Bartley, Halle Knies, Elizabeth Ackerman, Ainsely Pierce, Anna Schmitt, Assistant Coach Josh Dahmer


Saturday’s regional at Country Oaks Golf Course is bound to have a local flavor to it.

Jasper and Southridge will both be going to the regional as teams following the Sept. 19 sectional at Buffalo Trace Golf Course. The Wildcats won the sectional championship by shooting 360 as a team, while the Raiders rounded out the top three with a team score of 403 to return to regionals themselves.

Wildcats coach Jan Tellstrom said he wants his players to be more focused on target golf as they get ready for the regional this week.

“For instance, if you could hit a driver, but you chose a hybrid, because it would you give you a better target, that would be it — those kind of things,” Tellstrom said. “In other words, off the tee and placement in the fairways. If you get in trouble, how would you get out of trouble into some safe area? Because their chipping, pitching, putting has actually been pretty good all season, and I want them to rely on that.”

Tellstrom knows the quality of competition that is coming to Country Oaks, and he said it will be hard for his team to get out of the regional, though it is possible. He thinks it would be “kind of a miracle” if the Wildcats advanced to state as a team and “truly blessed” if that happened.

However, Tellstrom also knows any one of his golfers could be on fire at an individual level. Juniors Elizabeth Ackerman and Halle Knies will look to build off of their performances from the sectional. Ackerman shot an 85, and finished second place overall, while Knies finished in third place with a score of 87.

"Elizabeth Ackerman could easily have 75 or under and really not even be playing great, but she could probably do that," he said. "And Halle Knies probably falls in the same category in my mind."

Raiders coach Tom Collins knows how tough the regional is going to be, and he, too, believes it will be extremely difficult to move onto state as a team. However, he knows how much getting to regionals as a team means to them, citing that they will forever have the memory of qualifying.

Senior Baileigh Schneider (center) and Southridge will be competing in Saturday's golf regional as a team. Schneider won the sectional medal for a second year in a row Sept. 19, and is hoping to make it to state.

Here lies the opportunity, though, for senior Baileigh Schneider to qualify for state. Schneider shot an 82 at the sectional to win her 10th medal this year and second straight individual sectional championship.

"I think this is her year," Collins said. "She's going to go up there and she's going to show us how to play that course. She's played a lot of great golf lately. Just like anybody else, she had a couple holes that came up and kind of got her, but she battled through, and I expect her to move on. She's going to show us what a real champ she is."

Heritage Hills won't send a team after finishing in fourth place with a team score of 426. However, the Patriots will have two individuals representing them in junior Grace Mangan and sophomore Kylie Fahnestock. Mangan is going to regionals for the second year in a row after shooting a 93. Fahnestock shot a 99, and got to this point after winning a playoff against Crawford County's Amanda Coomer.

Fahnestock is hoping to get her drives going better while also improve on her chipping as she readies for Country Oaks. Mangan, too wants to work on her driving, but she thinks she'll be okay as long as her distance is there.

"They need to relax, have fun and just remember the things that we've been through all year," Heritage Hills coach Dave Jochim said. "If they can execute their shots, they'll be fine."

Heritage Hills sophomore Kylie Fahnestock will be appearing at Saturday's regional after winning a playoff in the Sept. 19 sectional.
Heritage Hills junior Grace Mangan will be competing in her second straight regional as an individual.

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