While the Borgia girls golf Lady Knights didn’t send any representatives to the MSHSAA State Tournament, Head Coach Michael Pelster saw many successes for his program.
“Overall, I would say our girls reached or were really close to reaching our preseason goals,” Pelster said. “One of our goals was to get every girl in a match who wanted to play one and we were able to achieve that goal. We also wanted to be playing our best golf when it came time for district. I think most of our girls were playing their best golf.”
Borgia had three golfers, Cailey Foss, Sara Kopmann and Sydney Unnerstall, reach the sectional level. Halle Fischer missed making the sectional round by six strokes. Britney Harriman also played in the district meet.
“My hope was to match our total of four sectional golfers moving on to sectionals but we only had three this year,” Pelster said. “Even though we did not reach this goal, I was very happy with getting three golfers on to sectional.”
Pelster said the three sectional golfers were the team standouts this season.
“My standouts this year were Sydney Unnerstall, Cailey Foss and Sara Kopmann,” he said. “These were my three golfers who made it on to sectionals and were on average my best golfers all year long. They were able to continuously have solid or good rounds of golf every time they went out.”
Pelster saw considerable improvement in many of the team members throughout the season.
“Our most improved golfers this year were Cailey Foss, Halle Fischer, Britney Harriman, Hannah Herbst and Hannah Dobsch,” Pelster said. “They all had really good rounds at different times this year. They improved on different parts of their game to improve their scores.”
Pelster said there is considerable room for improvement.
“If these girls can work on their game this spring and summer, every one of them has a chance to make it on,” Pelster said. “They all have the ability to do so but it takes hard work in the offseason to improve. We only get two months for a season so they need to be working outside of the season.”
Borgia had six seniors with varying degrees of past experience.
“Amanda Virtudazo, Anna Mattli and Megan Holtmeyer joined our program this year but you could tell they had swung the club before,” Pelster said. “They were all great individuals to have as part of the program and we wish all three had started playing earlier in their high school career.”
Another senior, Kaylin Zeltmann, was in her second season on the team.
“She had made a lot of progress before this year began,” Pelster said. “Unfortunately, injuries slowed her season and she was not able to participate as much as she would have liked.”
The team had two four-year golfers.
“Rachel Nieder has been with our program all four years,” Pelster said. “She is a very positive attitude to have in your program and is someone you like to have representing your team. Sydney Unnerstall put together quite a successful career. She was able to make it to sectionals three of her four years in high school. She has a lot of game and was a great leader for us this year. She will not be easy to replace in terms of her leadership on and off the course. We will miss all of these individuals.”
Besides qualifying three for the sectional tournament, Pelster said finishing third at the Lutheran South Tournament was a highlight.
“We played in the Lutheran South tournament for the first time this year and the girls all played well for it being a new course,” Pelster said. “Then, to have three girls make it on to sectionals, is always a successful year. We hope to be able to continue this and advance more girls in the future.”
Based upon the returning golfers, Pelster is very optimistic about next season.
“Our outlook for next year is very good,” he said. “We return four of our five district golfers and have several girls who we feel like can fill in that spot or take over for one of the other girls. The competition should be good next year as long as the girls do their work in the offseason. We will miss our seniors and the leadership provided by Sydney throughout this year. I hope to find somebody by next year to take that spot as a leader on this team.”