Locals golfers set for another regional

By COREY STOLZENBACH
sports@dcherald.com

Jasper girls golf will once again be competing at the regional Saturday at the Country Oaks Golf Club following a second straight sectional championship.

The Wildcats know qualifying for state will be tough, but their season might not be completely over after the day is through.

“I don’t know if we really have a chance to go as a team, but I know out of all three of us — all five of us, I think one of us has a great chance of going onto state individually,” senior Elizabeth Ackerman said.

Ackerman tied with fellow senior Halle Knies for the second lowest individual score by shooting an 83 at the sectional, while another senior, Avery Bartley, finished third with an 85. Two other Wildcat seniors, Anna Schmitt and Ainsley Pierce, finished with scores of 89 and 95, respectively.

Bartley felt all of the Wildcats had goals of having shooting low scores and winning the sectional this year.

“I feel like one of us could definitely advance — who knows who it could be because we all have our good rounds,” Bartley said. “And I feel like there’s a big chance someone could really shoot really well.”

“I think that we just need to go there and do the best that we can and hope that we end on a good note,” Knies said.

Jasper coach Josh Dahmer said after Saturday’s victory that Monday was likely going to be a range day, that there would likely be some things his golfers would want to work on. He said his plan was to go to Country Oaks Tuesday and Thursday for practice rounds.

“Most of these girls know Country Oaks fairly well,” Dahmer said. “But the more you can get on it, the more you can kind of test some things out and see what kind of irons are working and what kind of conditions you’re going to go into on Saturday.”

Southridge is going back to the regional this year, but it’s different. Last year was centered around trying to get Baileigh Schneider to state — a goal the Raiders accomplished, but they’ll be competing this year without the state qualifier that they graduated.

“We don’t have that superstar that we’re trying to get onto state,” Raiders coach Tom Collins said. “I think we’re just going to take a step back, enjoy this, have a little fun this week with it and go up there and just do the best that we can do.

“And I’m sure our girls are going to say, ‘We don’t want to get last,’” Collins continued. “And so, if they can do better than that, I think they’ll leave the course with a smile on their face.”

Senior Grace Mangan and junior Kylie Fahnestock of Heritage Hills will once again be competing as individuals. Mangan will be at her third straight regional, while Fahnestock will be partaking for the second straight year.

“My short game needs some work,” Fahnestock said. “Everything else seemed pretty good.”

Fahnestock is hoping to keep a positive attitude, play as best as she can and score somewhere in the eighties.

“Yeah, we’re looking sub-nineties, definitely,” Mangan said. “(I’m) just trying to do my best I can for my last one, hopefully.”

Patriots coach Dave Jochim said this week will be an emphasis of the short game and golf course management with his two qualifiers.

“If they can shoot in the mid-to-low eighties, that would be a good goal,” Jochim said. “And I think they’re capable of doing that.”