Young Lady Lynx golfers return with ample experience
April 02. 2013 9:53AM
There’s something to be said for the rebuilding of a high school sports program.
Now a few years in the making, the Lady Lynx golf team boasts a young roster – 18 in all total – but that youthful team returns to the links this season with a wealth of competition experience according to new head coach Todd Geerdes.
“We gained some state tournament experience last year as a young squad and in the state tournament, played some of the best golf all year,” he said.
Geerdes assumes the head coaching duties from Craig Nelson, who left the district to teach and coach at Sioux Falls Washington this year.
Geerdes will look to four returning letter winners from the 2012 team that tied for seventh place in the Eastern South Dakota Conference and 11th among the 16 “AA” teams at state.
Leading the way will be juniors Janae Paul, Hannah Johnson and Alana Christenson, and sophomore Kaila Kuehn, all returning letter winners.
Paul finished her 2012 campaign on a successful note, firing two games in the 80s at last year’s state tournament.
“I expect some leadership from her,” Geerdes said of Paul, “who stands a great chance to medal (at state).”
Kuehn put “a ton of time into the game” in the off-season, Geerdes said, and has worked extensively with Todd Kolb to perfect her swing.
And Geerdes also believes that Johnson has the ability to improve on lowering her scores this season. Last year, she hovered in the low 100’s, but the Lynx coach says she has was it takes to break the 100-mark barrier.
“She’s made good improvement and I’m looking forward to her stepping up,” Geerdes said.
The Lady Lynx golf coach also looks to sophomore Emily Anderson to fill a varsity role. After taking a year off from the program, the younger sister of Lynx boy’s golf team standout, senior Tyler Anderson, Geerdes says she shows great promise as well.
Geerdes said Brandon Valley eighth grader Macy Clark will also be vying for a varsity role, along with three freshmen – Jamie Johnson, Elise Oren and Lauren Blue.
The program also lists nine middle school girls that will compete in the junior varsity program. The group includes seventh graders Elizabeth Duncan, Shelby Linn, Ashlea Wolfe, Hannah DeVille, Josie Puetz, Paige Timmons, Callie Wethor and Tatum Mork, and eighth grader Haley Sanow. These girls are coached by BVMS teacher, Jeff Lockner.
“Our goal for every round this season is to get four players shooting in the 90s and some to break the 90s,” he said. “If I can get four players to break 90 at the state tournament, it won’t be good enough to win but good enough to place well.”
And that’s one of the team goals this season: To finish in the top six at state and the top half of the ESD. Prior experience at both levels should bode well for the team.
“It’s a realistic goal,” Geerdes said. “All of the (returning) girls, with the exception of Emily have played varsity since ninth grade, so ESD and state – that part of it shouldn’t bother them.”
Geerdes looks to Yankton as the top contender in the conference. “They’re typically good,” he said, “and in the overall scheme, you’ve got to think O’Gorman is No. 1.”
The team is scheduled to open their season at a home triangular on April 1 with Yankton and Brookings. Geerdes said the triangular remains questionable at this time.
The weather has also forced the Lady Lynx to practice indoors. And while they haven’t stepped onto a course yet, Geerdes said they have been hitting the ball. Beginning in January for eight weeks, the girls spent time at an indoor driving range in Sioux Falls on Saturdays. Geerdes said the girls have also gone through a week of rules review, as well as doing stretching exercises, yoga and putting drills.
“Next week, we should start hitting at the high school,” said Geerdes.
Geerdes has significant sports coaching history since he joined the Brandon Valley staff in 1989. He coached varsity football from 1989 to 2003 and middle school basketball for 10 seasons (1989-1998). In 2003, he started coaching boy’s golf.
Geerdes said he didn’t apply for the job four years ago when Nelson came on board.
“There’s so much time out of the classroom and it’s tough to balance,” he said. “But when this opportunity came up – I should’ve done it four years ago – I didn’t want to miss out again,” he said.
This will be his fifth year with the girl’s program; he’s dedicated 11 years to the Lynx boy’s golf program as well.
2013 Lady Lynx golf schedule
April 1 - Home triangular – Yankton & Brookings - 2 p.m.
April 4 - at O’Gorman - 4 p.m.
April 8 - Home triangular – Brookings & Lincoln - 2 p.m.
April 15 - Home dual - Madison - 3 p.m.
April 16 - at Washington - 3:30 p.m.
April 19 - at Yankton Invite - 10 a.m.
April 26 - at Mitchell Invite - 10:30 a.m.
April 29 - at S.F. Warrior Invite - 9 a.m.
May 4 - ESD at Yankton - 10 a.m.
May 7 - at Watertown Invite - 10:30 a.m.
May 8 - at Roosevelt - 3:15 p.m.
May 16 - Lynx Invite - Noon
May 20-21 - State AA at Yankton - 9 a.m.