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Ellsworth linksters hopes scores fall and teammates rise

Members of the 2012 Ellsworth High School girls' golf team are (From left) Karissa Seibel, Abbie Bauer and Aubrey Langer.

When it comes to low, the Ellsworth High School girls' golf team wishes it has low scores, not a low turnout of student athletes.

But it's the situation the Panthers face this season. Unless a few more persons are recruited to the team of just three golfers so far once school starts, some 300 strokes will automatically be added to their team scores, putting them at the bottom of every meet they're in.

"It's very disappointing but it shows what we need to do more to get more people out for the sport," Ellsworth head coach Kit Feuerhelm said. "We have a great summer school class which teaches golf but that's it. We need to find ways to get more young players taking up the game instead of waiting for them to do so as freshmen and then hoping they come out for the team."

Ellsworth lost Hanna Hines and Jillian Paquet from a squad which qualified for sectionals last year and other underclassmen from last season's squad chose not to play again.

But the season won't be a total washout for the Purple as they have two individual golfers who are two of the better golfers in a tough Middle Border Conference. Seniors Aubrey Langer and Karissa Seibel will be playing for all-conference and potentially state bids as well. Langer received honorable mention All-MBC in 2011 and was just a few strokes away from qualifying for the state meet individually.

"I think their games are solid. They've both shown a lot of improvement and I look forward to them having great seasons." Fuerhelm said. "Aubrey's has worked hard all summer and the improvement is quite visible. If she can get her putting down tight, and Karissa improves her short game as well, they'll both be all-conference golfers."

Also on the team is freshman Abbie Bauer.

Feuerhelm said he'll be happy to help coach the team members to their individual goals until a team can be put together.

"Golf is an individual sport, which I think some persons have a hard time dealing with because there's no one to fall back on," Feuerhelm said. "But we want to emphasize we have a lot of fun as a team no matter our numbers and hope to convince others to be part of it."