By the time the school year gets under way in September, the Waupaca Comet girls’ golf team will be almost finished with its season.
“We have eight meets in the first 18 days,” fourth-year coach Brian Ruplinger said Tuesday during an early-morning practice with the squad at the Waupaca Country Club. “We drop to one meet a week once school starts and our season’s pretty much three-fourths over before school starts.”
Waupaca opens the season Friday, Aug. 13, at the Seymour Invitational before hosting Appleton Xavier, Fox Valley Lutheran, Freedom, Green Bay Notre Dame, Hortonville, Kaukauna, Little Chute, Oconto and Wrightstown Tuesday, Aug. 17.
Last year’s varsity team consisted of one sophomore and four freshmen.
“We were very young last year,” Ruplinger said. “Those girls are all back, plus we have a couple of new girls that have practiced a lot and have been taking lessons this summer. They really stepped up their game. Some of the girls have been playing in the summer and some have only picked it up a couple of times. It’s a matter of being consistent and hitting the ball on a regular basis. The short game – chipping and putting – they can do at home. That’s where they’re really going to drop their scores.”
Returning golfers include junior Nicole Cychosz.
“She’s been our No. 1 the last couple of years and she’ll probably stay No. 1,” Ruplinger said. “She’s pretty consistent.”
Also back is sophomore Robin Peeters, who spent most of her freshman season as the Comets No. 2 golfer.
The other three varsity spots are up for grabs between junior Hannah Johnson, sophomores Jess Krawczyk, Hannah Sprenger, Shelby Roe and Cassidy Holt and freshmen Jayne Barber and Jessica Taggatz.
“There may be a few changes in the top five,” Ruplinger said. “A couple of girls that have been playing in the summer are hitting the ball pretty solid right now, so there are some girls out here that have some potential. The top two girls might stay the same, but we could move the others around a little. I think there might be some of that going on this year.”
While this year’s team has some experienced golfers, there are others that are learning the game for the first time.
“That’s probably the biggest challenge,” Ruplinger said. “The ones that know what’s going on, they know what they need to do. We need to bring the new ones along and make sure they understand the game.
“You have to give them credit,” he said. “They’ve never golfed before and they run into these girls that have golfed. It’s kind of intimidating. You have to give them credit for sticking it out and wanting to learn the game. It’s a great game to learn at this age because it’s a lifelong sport. I want the girls to enjoy the game. Not everyone can be a professional golfer. As long as they can learn the game and enjoy it, that’s probably my biggest thing.
“Most of them are enthusiastic about golf and the ones that are just picking up the game, I think they want to learn,” he said. “That’s fantastic.”
Friday, Aug. 13: at Seymour Invitational, 9 a.m.
Tuesday, Aug. 17: Waupaca Invitational, 9 a.m.
Friday, Aug. 20: at Kaukauna Invitational, 8 a.m.
Monday, Aug. 23: Conference meet at Wrightstown, 9 a.m.
Tuesday, Aug. 24: Conference meet at Waupaca, 9 a.m.
Monday, Aug. 30: Conference meet at Bonduel, 3 p.m.
Tuesday, Aug. 31: Conference meet at Freedom, noon.
Tuesday, Sept. 7: Conference meet at Appleton Xavier, 3 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 9: Conference meet at Fox Valley Lutheran, 3 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 16: Conference meet at Little Chute, 3 p.m.
Wednesday, Sept. 22: Eastern Valley Conference Meet at Wander Springs Golf Course, Greenleaf, 9 a.m.