SPRING PREVIEW: Marshall Tiger golf

Photo by Sam Thiel Pictured above is the Marshall girls golf team. Front Row (L to R): Clara Jennings, Brooklyn Gossen, Kaylee VanHauwaert, Emma Runchey-Smalley and Mild Du. Middle Row (L to R): MacKenna Eickhoff, Avery Leary, Ramsey Nelson, Kiara Maeyaert, Hannah Verkinderen and Bella Philips. Back Row (L to R): Lauren Buysse, Courtney Toulouse, Olivia Peterson, Rachel Schwarz and Holly Netzley. Missing: Ashtyn Eben.

MARSHALL – Last season, the Marshall boys and girls golf teams had another strong year, with the Tigers placing second as a team at state on the girls side and seeing Spencer Ehlers on the boys side reach state.

Boys Golf

On the boys side, the Tigers are ready to improve on their 2018 campaign with even more success. This season, Marshall has 13 returners, led by its three seniors in Spencer Ehlers, Mason Plante and Kaleb Soehl as well as a handful of juniors including Landon Frost, Noah Puetz, Tannyr Curry, Ethan VanHauwaert and Dominik Caspers. Coach Kari Ehlers said she has high expectations for her team this year and they need to rely on their veterans to lead the way.

“I have very high expectations for this year. Spencer and Mason have a lot of experience, they’ve been playing on the team since seventh grade, so we’re really going to need them to be our leaders this year,” coach Ehlers said. “We’ve got a lot of juniors in the mix; we’ve got Noah Puetz, Landon Frost, Tannyr Curry, Ethan VanHauwaert, Dominik Caspers, those guys are going to round out our top six and I have very high expectations of them.”

Throughout the first few weeks of the season, coach Ehlers said they’ve been practicing on their short game as well as a variety of different shots like punch-outs and trouble shots. Golf also have some new rules this year, and coach Ehlers wants her team to be well-versed with them heading into the season.

“There’s some new rules in golf and some modified rules that we’ve been working on, so we’ve watched some videos on that and trying to get a handle on what those rules will look like,” coach Ehlers said. “We’ve also been working on our short game and our punch shots, pitching and trouble shots.”

Girls Golf

On the girls side, the Tigers will look to post another deep run and make a trip to the state tournament after placing runner-up a season ago.

Marshall coach Gretchen Flynn said that state experience from last year will be a key factor for them in boosting their confidence as a team and raising their game to the next level.

“First of all, it brings confidence. We really had a shot at going to state two years ago and what kept us out of state was the lack of confidence and really how good we were,” Flynn said. “Last year when we had several record-setting rounds, I think it finally clicked with them that they could play golf at this level. The younger kids got to see that happen and practice with us, so having that state experience coming back is invaluable. Definitely something that’s going to elevate our play all the way around.”

Leading the way for the Tigers this season will include seniors Olivia Peterson, Courtney Toulouse and Ashtyn Eben as well as junior Rachel Schwarz.

Flynn added they have high expectations and knows it’s going to be another challenging season with many teams bringing lots of experience back.

“We want to win the Big South Conference, that’s always a goal of ours. Fairmont has everybody back, so they’re going to challenge us this year, so we need to be on our game there,” Flynn said. “Sections will look a little different this year, Tony Janu is back coaching at Minnewaska and they combined with BBE this year, so not only will they have the Minnewaska experience but they also have the kids that went to state with BBE last year playing on the same team, so that’s going to be a challenge for everybody at sections. I think there’s going to be a little more of a dogfight at sections this year than we’ve seen the past few years.”