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NT golf seeks boys conference title, consistency from diminished girls team

March 29, 2019
CJ Eilers - Editor ( , Traer Star-Clipper

Head Coach: Trevor Larson

Much has changed for the North Tama golf program in a single offseason. In 2018, the girls were crowned conference champs and sent Claire Shafer to State. The boys fared less successful with a third place finish in conference and no State qualifiers. The tables have turned this season with the boys seeking a conference title, the girls rebuilding and a new coach leading the way.

The 2019 teams will be coached by Trevor Larson in his first year at North Tama. Larson coached basketball and baseball at Jesup as well as coached as an assistant for North Tama JV basketball this past season. This will be Larson's first time helming a golf program, but he's optimistic about coaching 16 boys and two girls this season.

Article Photos

Front row left to right: Molly Vogeler, Daelynn Powell. 2nd row r to l: Dalton Kucera, Tommy Weber, Cory Isenhower, Zane Nelson, Cale Bradley, Clay Hershberger. 3rd row r to l: Andrew Lidgett, Aaron Waller, Aaron Snider, Paden Ketter, Camden Clauson, Evan Waller, Skyler Staker, coach Trevor Larson. Not pictured: Jack dostal, Michael Bell, Parker Hulme.

"I feel like this is going to be a fun year and we have a great group of guys and a couple of girls out for the season," Larson said. "We have a few returning players for the varsity boys in Skyler Staker, Paden Ketter and Jack Dostal, but quite a few young guys that round out the roster. We'll look to those young guys for improvement over the year."

After graduating several senior girls last year, including Schafer and Olivia Schrier, the only returning varsity letterwinner for the Redhawks this season will be sophomore Daelynn Powell, joined by freshman Molly Vogeler.

"It was a lot of fun last year for the girls because we had more out," Powell said. "I feel could have accomplished more personally, but this year I want to achieve better scores with more practices."

More practice will be just what Larson will push in order to mold the girls into varsity players in a down year for the program.

"With the low numbers we have, success for the girls team will be on a more individual basis," Larson said. "I look for Daelynn to improve her scores from last year and for Molly to improve quite a bit throughout the season as she is just getting into golf."

Though the boys saw Derek Weber and Orion Hansen graduate last year, the Redhawk have top 10 conference medalist in Paden Ketter and Skyler Staker back on the green in 2019. Ketter had a breakout freshman year in 2018, taking fourth place at the Iowa State Conference Meet, yet falling short of a state berth individually and also saw his team outside of qualifying for sectionals.

"I feel we had a lot of potential last year for the guys," Ketter said. "Last season could have ended differently for me if I worked harder, and my goal this year is to try my best and make it to State."

Outside of Ketter, Staker and senior Dostal, the team has open roster spots to fill with a large number of guys currently out for the season. The team has yet to hit the golf course for practice, but once they tee up at the Traer Golf Course, Larson feels he will learn a lot about this boys and girls teams.

"In looking at last year's stats, we had two top 10 finishers in our conference in Paden and Skyler, so I'll look to those two guys to carry and lead our team," Larson said. "There's a lot of open spots at the bottom of the lineup. We'll see who steps into those. My hope is to get outside here soon to see what these young guys can do. It's hard to tell in the gym."

It's not just Larson learning about the team, but also the team learning about him. Ketter spoke highly of his new coach after being coached by him during the JV basketball season. Powell also feels the team is benefitting from the change in coaching staff on an individual basis.

"Coach Larson has been good about helping us with our swings," Powell said. "We've been working with him one-on-one on swings and other areas. With less girls out this year, we are more focused on golf and getting better each meet."

Though the girls have a ways to go before being competitive as last year's team was, the boys appear to be a team with high goals and the athletes to make a run in their conference and potentially send a golfer or two to sectionals and State.

"I would like to see these boys win conference this year because I feel it's attainable," Larson said. "They got third at conference last year. Paden and Skyler can score well for us and push this team into districts. We have to see improvement to develop our future. I hope to schedule so more JV meets for these young guys to play too."

Both teams will open their season at home on the Traer Golf Course with back-to-back meets on Thursday, April 4 and 5 against the likes of GMG, Waterloo Christian, South Tama, Dunkerton and Colo-Nesco.



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