After a more than successful start to the 2018 campaign, the Dallas Center-Grimes girls’ golf team is primed for even more of the 2018 campaign.
Last week the Fillies put on a stellar showing in their season opener placing five individuals inside the top ten, three of which found themselves inside the top five spots including the top two medalists.
The Fillies, under the continued guidance of head coach John Klaessy, come into the new year well seasoned with six returning letter winners out of the talented 24 golfers on the 2018 roster. Those returning letter winners may have highlighted the first outing for the Fillies but as Klaessy mentioned, they will be highlighting the team all year.
“The big thing for us this year is our six returning letter winners,” said Klaessy.
Klaessy went further on to describe that it’s not just the talent that comes back, but the experience that comes back as well.
“Their playing experience has been and will be great for us,” began Klaessy. “I’ve calculated that they’ve made 64 of the 78 starts between them so far.”
Leadership and experience has always been and will always remain a strong focal point for Klaessy. All that is encapsulated into a phenomenal senior group of five golfers for 2018 led by future collegiate star in Sarah Rauschenberg. Among the many leaders on the team Klaessy pointed to Rauschenberg to spearhead the efforts.
“One of my seniors, Sarah Rauschenberg, is a phenomenal leader for the younger gals,” began Klaessy. “She’s been great for the team and I’m looking for great things out of her this season.”
Rauschenberg has already come out strong so far ending her last meet three shots off of her career low nine hole score. Rauschenberg has been a letter winner each season since her freshman campaign and will be swinging golf clubs at the college next year for Soutwestern Community College in Creston.
Senior experience is always a key commodity for high school teams and with the youth that resides within the Fillies roster, that experience is even more crucial.
“The experience pays dividends for us especially this year because we have eight freshmen and a first year sophomore,” stated Klaessy. “When we first get on the courses, these underclassmen they’re not yet familiarized with the courses so pairing them up with the upperclassmen will help them navigate each course. They also help teach the underclassmen proper etiquette.”
Of course, you don’t end up third best in team nine hole average within a tough Little Hawkeye Conference with just one class. Many will tell you that team depth is a never ending battle but for 2018 the Fillies depth provides something that will help Klaessy breath a little easier.
“Depth is something you always need,” began Klaessy. “In the past we’ve played with as few as seven girls and as many as ten girls. Outside of the top six we have strong golfers including four seniors who have experience under their belts and are not intimidated to go to any meet and play.”
Now with competitive action already under their collective belts, the Fillies will continue to battle two of their toughest challenges as noted by Klaessy.
“One of our toughest challenges is going to be our competition,” mentioned Klaessy. “This year for girls golf they’ve gone down from five classes to four and where in the past we’ve been one of the bigger 4A schools, we are now one of the smaller Class 4A schools. Now we’re playing with the big schools like Waukee, Dowling (Catholic).”
The other challenge Klaessy noted was the unique schedule that his team will face.
“We play a very front loaded schedule where we’re playing two, maybe three times per week in the beginning then around once per week towards the end of the season,” said Klaessy. “The goal of that is get out and play great golf early so that when we get to regionals, we’ll be more competitive.”
The Fillies have landed inside the top three of the Little Hawkeye Conference in lowest nine hole team average each of the past two seasons and are poised to make it a third this season.