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SPRING SPORTS PREVIEW: Minneota golf

Left photo by Jake Przytarski/Right photo courtesy of Minneota girls golf Left: Pictured is the Minneota boys golf team. From (L to R): Braxton Downing, Cole Myhre, Anthony Rybinski, Alex DePestel, Max Rost, Jackson Esping and coach Walker Hennen. Right: Pictured is the Minneota girls golf team. From (L to R): Isabelle Gillund, Jeren Rost and Lauren Bowyer. Not pictured: Kaci Callens.

MINNEOTA — In 2019, the Minneota boys and girls golf team had a successful season, sending a pair of individuals to the state meet. But after not being able to compete last spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Vikings will look to get back to state under coaches Walker Hennen and Nicole Evers.

Hennen said despite not being able to have a season last year, it gave their players an opportunity to practice and work on their games throughout the summer.

“Although last year was a difficult year for many things, it was a great year for golf. Many summer camps and other summer activities were canceled last year so it gave kids a really good chance to practice their golf,” Hennen said. “I am hoping that we see some really good play this year and it will be great to be able to work with the kids again after a year off. “

Boys

On the boys side, Minneota will have six players back from two years ago, led by Cole Myhre, Braxton Downing and Max Rost. Hennen said he expects to see improvement from his players throughout the season and put themselves in a position to contend for state.

“I expect to see a lot of improvement from the beginning of the year to the end and hope to be contending for state titles at the end of the year,” Hennen said.

Hennen added due to the colder weather so far, they’ve been focusing on their approach shots from 100 yards and in and hopes their short game can become a strength for their team.

“So far with cold temps and a wet range we have been working mostly inside 100 yards. On the days when we do have nice weather we have been getting out to play as much as we can before the season starts,” Hennen said. “This year we are going to be spending quite a bit of our time working on our short game. Hopefully that turns out to be a strength for us.”

Going into the season, Hennen said he’s looking forward to being on the course again with his players and help them improve on their games.

“I am most looking forward to being able to work with the kids again,” Hennen said. “It was a long break between our last season and I have missed being around golf and helping improve our student athletes on and off the course.”

Girls

On the girls side, Minneota will have a smaller group this season, with just four players on the team and will be led by Lauren Bowyer and Jeren Rost. Evers said they will look to rely on Bowyer and Rost’s experience after not being able to gain more last season.

“Lauren and Jeren have experience and are able to pass that onto the younger girls,” Evers said. “We missed getting more experience last year and building confidence in our young players.”

Evers added her expectations are for her players to play their best and continue to build experience and confidence on the course.

“Just for the girls to play their best throughout the season and work on building confidence and experience,” Evers said. “I’m also looking forward to being back with the athletes and seeing how they took last year to work on their game without having a season.”

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