To say that the Boonville Lady Pirates golf team is young would be a major understatement.
With eight players suited out for the 2019 season, six will be playing their first varsity match of the season for the first time on Tuesday, Sept. 3rd against Southern Boone.
“We have zero returning starters from 2018,” said Boonville golf coach Rob VanderLinden. “Rayghan Skoufos is the only member with varsity experience and Julianne Bromagen gained experience in JV matches and a couple of varsity/jv tournaments, so this is definitely a rebuilding year.”
Flash back to 2018 for the Lady Pirates golf team and you will find Boonville finished 5-4 overall and 3-3 in the Tri-County Conference. Boonville also finished fourth out of six teams in the conference tournament.
But despite the inexperience surrounding the Lady Pirates golf team, VanderLinden said the outlook is still very positive.
“All the girls have been practicing hard and putting in extra time after practice and on the weekends,” VanderLinden said. ‘A good group of athletes that want to improve and are willing to listen and learn. I'm sure it’s going to be an up and down season with the lack of experience but by the end of the year, if they keep the work up, we will see huge improvements. So far, it has been a very good week of practices. Each girl is working hard to improve and wanting to be part of the varsity team.”
Bromagen is the lone junior returning for the Lady Pirates golf team while Skoufos is the only returning letter winner from 2018. Making up the freshmen class this season for Boonville are: Peyton Black, Zoey Lang, Hannah LeGrant, Alexis Schnetzler, Leah Ziegelbein and Makenna Campbell.
Of course with just two weeks of practice under their belt, VanderLinden said the top five positions for varsity have yet to be determined.
“I do not know who is going to varsity or JV in the first match yet,” VanderLinden said. “We had to cancel practice on Monday’s qualifier because of the heat. Wednesday will be our first of three qualifiers to determine who is varsity going into our first match. Because I keep a running average throughout the season, varsity and JV can constantly change, though.
“The key to the season is going to be keeping our good attitude throughout the season. We do not have a lot of experience so they are going to be a lot of ups and downs. Keeping the positive attitude and learning from our mistakes will be key. Becoming more consistent. Goals of this team is going to be trying to improve every match. If we can do that, we will be competitive in matches and tournaments by the end of the year. I would like us to finish in the top half of the conference and have a winning record in our matches.”
In its second season in the Tri-County Conference, which VanderLinden said is a strong golf conference, Hallsville will be adding a team this fall. Eldon has one of the top golfers in the state and a good supporting cast and will probably be one of the top teams in the conference along with defending champions-Southern Boone. VanderLinden said Southern Boone only graduated one off of their team last year.
“If my kids keep improving at the pace they are, we should be able to finish between third and fifth place in the conference meet,” VanderLinden said. “One advantage is the conference tournament is held at Hail Ridge this year.”
As for the strengths and weaknesses of the team this fall, VanderLinden said the strengths of the team have not been determined yet. He said there is a lot of talent with this group of girls but very few have competed in a match or a tournament.
“We are working on becoming consistent with certain shots, working a lot around the greens to improve scoring,” VanderLinden said. “Again, keeping the positive attitude and having the willingness to improve throughout the season.”
As for the weaknesses, VanderLinden said it has to be the youth and inexperience. He said these girls will be playing all the courses for the first time and have never competed against other golfers before and will be playing against some very good teams.”
9-3-Southern Boone, TBA, 4
9-5-FATHER TOLTON, 4
SACRED HEART, 4
9-12-at Battle, 9 a.m.
9-17-at Marshall Tourn.
9-19-Eldon/Osage, TBA, 4
9-23-at California, 4
9-24-California Tourn., 8:30
9-30-Tri-Co. Tourn., 10:30
10-3-at Marshall, 4
Note: Home games in caps.