The Sidney High School golf teams have finished their season, after the girl’s team placed second at the Class A state competition and three boy’s golfers competed, and overall, Head Coach Ben Berg said the season was great.
Berg said that coming into the season, himself and the girl’s team knew they had a chance to do well and that Laurel was going to be the team to beat.
“We knew that Laurel was really, really, really good and that it’d be pretty hard to catch them, but we knew that we were pretty close with everybody else,” Berg said.
Based on the results from the state competition last year, in combination with the first competitions this year, Berg said the team saw that they had a chance to compete and made it a goal to bring home a trophy.
Then, as the year went along and the lady Eagles saw the other competition at the state event, they knew it would be tough but were confident in themselves and stepped up, Berg added.
“After only being up a few shots (on the team behind them) on the first day, they really stepped up the second day and came out and probably played one of their best tournament days of the year as a team, and expanded that lead from nine shots to 32 shots over the third-place team,” Berg said.
With the boy’s team, they knew that they graduated a couple golfers who led the team in qualifying for state (as a whole team) last year, so the team knew they had some ground to make up, Berg said.
There was a lot of competition and good play amongst the boy’s golfers, as there were six or seven golfers who fought for the second, third, fourth and fifth spot in the lineup, Berg said.
All year long, Matthew Hansen was the leader for the boy’s team, and behind him, different golfers stepped up at different events, which made it hard to get some consistency in the lineup, Berg said.
“We just struggled to find that four-score consistency to get four scores in every time. The kids were capable of doing it, we had a hard time struggling with consistency through the year. That’s one of the things that, at the end of the year, when I talk to all the kids, we’ll discuss going into next year finding a way to be more consistent on a weekly basis,” Berg said.
As a coach, getting to see his golfers get to the state competition and be able to bring home trophies is a great feeling, Berg said, and he added that he really enjoyed it this year.
“The satisfaction of seeing a smile on their faces and knowing that they accomplished something really excites me. It makes me happy and it’s what we strive for, and I’m just glad I could be a part of that, helping them achieve those goals,” Berg added.
Looking ahead to next year, the boy’s team will be losing two of its state competitors (Hansen and Braden Kindopp), and the girl’s team will be losing two golfers, who were the second and third scorers at the state competition (Sarah Karanjai, who placed seventh at state, and Adriana Beyerle).
Otherwise, the boy’s team is returning Tate Hazen (who competed at state), along with Casey Rehbein and Logan Schumacker, who both competed regularly during the season.
Gunner Costeleckey, Bradyn Page, Andrew Morse, Mason Kindopp and Hayden Conn are all returning as well, so there will be a lot of competition for the boy’s team.
The girl’s team will return Karly Volk, who placed fifth individually at state and was the top golfer all season, as well as Ella Norby and Emilee Iversen, who both did well at state.
The girl’s team also has Riley O’Donnell and Brooklyn Boyer coming back to provide some youth and growth for the team.
One of the biggest factors for both teams going into next season, though, is that all the golfers need to practice during the offseason so they get better and are ready for next year, Berg said.
He said he is proud of his teams and how they competed throughout the year and at the state competition, adding that he is grateful they could play the whole season out and hopes the other teams get to do so as well.