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EHS girls golf beginning again

Members of the 2013 Ellsworth High School Girls Golf Team include, from left, Sophia Derleth; Megan Taplin; Madelyn Nielsen; Kacie Lansing and Shanelle Borth. Photo by Sean Scallon.

There was an option for the Ellsworth High School girls golf team, made up of just four freshman and a sophomore, to play a JV schedule this fall. 

But new head coach Carson Huppert and team members decided that's not what they wished to do for the 2013 season.

So the Panthers will plunge ahead, depsite the youth and lack of numbers, to compete in one of the toughest Division 2 golf leagues in the state.

"They know it's going to be a learning experience, they're under no illusions of their chances," Huppert said. "But we all feel that by playing varsity it will help the gain the experience they need to be competitive faster competing against the best golfers from the other schools in the Middle Border."

Huppert said he hopes the team will grow in members after school starts. Until then EHS will compete with the five golfers they have, which include freshmen Sophia Derleth, Megan Taplin, Kacie Lansing and Shannelle Borth. Also on the team is sophomore Madelyn Nielsen, who was with the program last season. The Panthers lost the most experienced and best golfers they had, Aubrey Langer and Karissa Seibel, to graduation from squad in 2012 which had even fewer numbers.

"Maddy played last season and Megan has playing experience just from coming here (Ellsworth Country Club) and playing with her family. That's about it." Huppert said. "So learning the rules of the game and continual improvement in their short games, where the most strokes can be taken off from their scores right away, will be our team goals." 

There is an upside to this situation is that there's plenty room for EHS's golfers to grow and Huppert said he's already seen happeing.

"Megan took off 10 strokes just from the first day practice to the second," Huppert said. "I think the most enjoyable experience we're going to have this season is watching their growth and improvement in the game take place from the first day of practice to regionals."

And even with the difficult situation the Panthers face, Huppert believes the team's internal cohesion will help them surive it.

"Our biggest strength is the fact the team members get along so well," Huppert said. "They're friends on and off the course and hopefully it will keep them together getting through the learning process they'll have to go through. If they stick with it good things will eventually happen for them."

Ellsworth began its season at the Barron Scramble last week and is playing this afternoon in New Richmond as part of the New Richmond Invitational. Their first league meet is Thursday at Pheasant Hills in Hammond hosted by Baldwin-Woodville.