Rocket boys return for swing at more golf success

Young Rockford girls looking could use some action

by Dave Pedersen

Sun PRESS Newspapers

What is dampening an optimistic outlook to the Rockford boys golf season is the reality of an unseasonably cold and wet early spring.

This was a year when Rockford was eager to get swinging with the return of the entire varsity lineup from last season, including three All-Conference players.

However, because of snow-covered golf courses, the first five meets have already been cancelled and a seven-week schedule has to be compressed into four weeks. Coach Bruce Koenen called the non-start frustrating.

“We have now been inside for over a month, and to be honest, it gets pretty boring hitting into nets every day in the community center,” said Koenen. “The other bad thing about hitting off mats is you never get a bad lie like outside and your ball comes off the club differently than natural grass. Also, it’s hard to see the flight of the ball when you hit into a net five yards away.”

Rockford returns three All-Conference golfers, including from left, Alex Shaikoski, Brody Harstad and Keith Propson. (Submitted photo)

Rockford returns three All-Conference golfers, including from left, Alex Shaikoski, Brody Harstad and Keith Propson. (Submitted photo)

Senior captains are Keith Propson and Alex Shaikoski. Koenen said both players have been very steady for the last couple of years. They both earned All-Conference honors last season along with junior Brody Harstad.

Junior Ty Griffin played as the No. 2 or 3 varsity finisher much of last season. Sophomore Ben Skinner was the No. 5 varsity golfer. The final spot will be a tossup between seniors Adam Anderson, Dylan Fitzsimmons and Ryan Miller.

Last year Rockford took second in the conference to Osakis. The team has 25 players out in grades 9-12.

The first schedule meet is April 23 at the St. Peter Invitational.

Three girls return

The Rockford girls golf team is extremely young with three returning varsity players. Rachael Clem is the only junior and Haley Woodrich and Lexie Clark are sophomores.

“They bring with them tournament experience and much competitiveness, even amongst themselves,” said coach Kirsten Larson. “I’m looking to those three to provide strong leadership and spirit for our three junior high girls, who will round out the last spots.”

The eighth-graders are Abby Scribner, Kacey Reed and Nicole Lotstedt. Larson said the Junior High girls just need a little tournament experience under their belt. It does not help that early season meets have been postponed due to winter hanging around.

The girls have been working in the swing cages at school, as well as occasionally going to the Golf Zone in Chanhassen.

“Staying positive about our season, we know the short game will be our biggest concentration,” adds Larson. “I am also getting the girls focused on one goal to improve on for each event. If we can implement those goals, I think we will have a successful season.”

The girls finally hope to play Tuesday, April 23 at Howard Lake in a Central Minnesota Conference event. The Rockets play at Kimball April 25 and at Osakis April 29.

The boys hope to open at the St. Peter Invitational, 2 p.m. Tuesday, April 23 and at the Becker Invite, noon, Wednesday, April 24. The home league meet at Shamrock is 4:15 p.m. Friday, April 26.

 

Contact Dave Pedersen at sunpressnews@ecm-inc.com

 
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