The COVID-19 pandemic and late start to the season has not dashed the hopes of the DeForest girls golf team. The Norskies have high expectations with the return of four starters.
“Our main goal is to finish the season and not get shut down early,” Norski coach Scott Siemion said. “We are in the fifth year of our program and have increased our player numbers to 15, which is another goal each year. We have put ourselves in a place to be very competitive at our varsity events and continue to develop players in our younger classes. We had hoped to reach the sectional last year, but came up a few strokes short, but other than that, we accomplished what we set out to do last season.”
Last season, the Lady Norskies finished fifth at the Badger North Conference Meet with a score of 383. They finished five strokes behind third-place Portage (378) and a stroke behind fourth-place Baraboo (382). Waunakee easily claimed the title with a 347, while Reedsburg was second with a 356.
The Norskies finished in seventh place at the WIAA Baraboo Regional.
DeForest welcomes back its top golfer from last season, junior Taryn Endres. She finished third at last year’s conference meet with an 85.
“She is our returning MVP and is set for another solid season,” Siemion said.
The senior trio of Lexi Scheuerell, Tori Schnell and Kaylin Nesbitt also returns this season.
Nesbitt had the Norskies’ third-best score at the conference meet last year with a 101.
“She is a four-year player who was our most improved player,” Siemion said. “She has worked extremely hard and will be a valuable contributor this year.”
Schnell finished with a 103 at last year’s Badger North Meet, while Scheuerell fired a 104.
“They both are four-year golfers who have worked hard in the offseason,” Siemion said.
Also on the roster for the Lady Norskies this season are juniors Amber Meyer, Marissa McPherson and Alyssa Schuster, sophomores Sam Mau, Taryn Loomis and Ryann Gordon and freshmen Ingrid Harke, Kaitlyn Baumgart, Grace Godat, Tess Armstrong and Paige Scheuerell.
“Our playing experience and our positive attitudes are our biggest strengths,” Siemion said. “Consistency is still a weakness we work on every day.”
Even with restrictions due to the pandemic, Siemion expects it to be golf as usual for the Norskies.
“COVID-19 has changed many of the normal logistical things we do, but once on the course, it is still golf,” Siemion said. “We are practicing to improve our skills and playing a modified match schedule. We may benefit, as an entire program, from some of the changes we were asked to make.”
The Badger Conference has canceled all fall sports competitions and championships, but the Norskies will still face some familiar foes this fall. The WIAA may still hold its postseason series.
“We are playing a modified schedule against Badger Conference schools,” Siemion said. “We have not heard if our tournament series is cancelled yet, but these players are very resilient and thankful to have the opportunity to compete and be together.”