Spring Sports Preview: Wolverine golf teams are eager to return to area courses
The Wolverines practice time has been stymied so far with a slow to melt snow pack.
WADENA — While nordic skiing was an exciting addition to the Whitetail Run Golf Course this winter, area golfers are looking to put the skis away and hit some golf balls.
Few are more eager than the Wadena-Deer Creek girls and boys teams who are just stone’s throw away from their first competition set for Monday, April 18 in Sartell.
Head coach for the boys Scott Woods said he has welcomed back a slightly larger group of 16 boys this spring.
This is his third year back in the head coaching position and he said his roster includes a list of several experienced golfers as well as newcomers to the sport. It makes for a fun group of serious competitors and some who are just out to learn, grow and have fun.
It appears there is even enough growth to field junior varsity and junior high golf teams this season.
“We try to make it fun. We try to make it something kids want to be a part of,” Woods said.
“We’re not really this veteran team that’s expecting to win the conference or section. We have a nice mix of kids that are out to have fun and we have a couple that are hoping to place in some events.”
This group remains fairly young but the top performer last year for the boys was Cole Woods who comes to play as a junior this year. He advanced into subsections last year. Senior Isaac Christianson returns after his first year playing last season. He and Woods put in lots of time playing over the summer months to hone their craft.
Seniors Cole Berglund and Aiden Allred joined the team last year as well. Jaeger Pettit, Nick Wright, Eshetu Loer and Phillip Ross are some of the others adding to the team's athleticism.
The WDC Girls' Golf program is looking forward to playing the first rounds of the season after losing no players from the previous season.
Kevin Ross is in his second year as head coach of the girls' team after coaching the boys' team for the previous 12 seasons. Ross is PGA Club Pro/Manager at Whitetail Run Golf Course.
"The program is growing each year," Ross said. "This will be our first varsity program in the past three years. Last year, we played 'mid-level.' This year, we will play both."
The Wolverines did not lose any golfers to graduation last year and many of those coming back have put in the time to improve their game.
"Quite a few of the (returning) girls played over the summer," Ross added. "That will help."
Golfing allows kids to advance as a team and as an individual, similarly to wrestling.
As a whole, the teams enter the Section 6AA, a move from 8AA. This won’t change much of their regular season, but will change who they see in the playoffs. Woods said one adjustment means they’ll be visiting the Blackberry Ridge golf course in Sartell a couple times this season, including for sections. Their main competition is in the Mid MN Conference, up against Staples-Motley, Crosby-Ironton-Aitkin, Pequot Lakes, and Pine River-Backus. Woods said as they play these teams, they earn points throughout the season. As they progress, the similarly ranked individuals play against each other. This includes team and individual placing.
Woods said golfers have options for practicing outside of the golf season. He said the junior membership at the golf course are very reasonable to allow those golfers the opportunity to grow in the sport without going broke.
“Up until now we really haven’t had much of a practice yet,” Woods said. With snow cover and wet conditions, and just one net to work with indoors, they are very eager to travel to Whitetail Run to smack golf balls and grow in the sport.
Junior Kayla Meeks; sophomores Addison Block, Hannah Dosdahl, Jasmine Erickson, Libby Hartman, Izzy Johnson, Cayleigh Oie, Kelanie Oldakowski and Allison Westrum. Freshman Amara Neuerburg; 8th Grader Corabeth Curtis; 7th Grader Emma Weniger.
AWAY: Monday, April 18 @ Blackberry
AWAY: 11:00 a.m., Thursday, April 21 @ The Pines
AWAY: 2:00 p.m., Tuesday, April 26 @ Preserve
AWAY: 9:30 a.m., Friday, April 29 @ Staples Invite
HOME: 3:00 p.m., Tuesday, May 3 @ WDC
AWAY: 9:00 a.m., Friday, May 6 @ Park Rapids
AWAY: 9:00 a.m., Monday, May 9 @ Bemidji
AWAY: 3:00 p.m., Tuesday, May 10 @ Deacon’s
AWAY: 1:00 p.m., Monday, May 16 @ Mid-State
AWAY: 1:00 p.m., Thursday, May 19 @ Ruttger’s
AWAY: 12:20 p.m., Tuesday, May 31 @ Cragun’s
AWAY: Monday, June 6, Sections @ Blackberry
AWAY: Tuesday, June 7, Sections @ Blackberry
AWAY: 9:30 a.m., Friday, April 29 @ Bemidji
AWAY: 9:30 a.m., Monday, May 2 @ Blackberry Ridge
AWAY: 10:00 a.m., Monday, May 9 @ Blueberry Pines
AWAY: 9:00 a.m., Tuesday, May 10 @ Gravel Pit Golf Course
AWAY: 9:30 a.m. Friday, May 13 @ Vintage Golf Course
AWAY: 12:00 p.m., Tuesday, May 24 @ Wapicada Golf Club
AWAY: Tuesday, June 2, Sections @ Blackberry Ridge