Start of the Golf Season

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Rachel Nelson, Sports Editor

The golf season is underway as both the girls Belvidere Co-Op and the boys North team have gotten in a tournament and a few matches each. The boys’ team is led by juniors Bennett Baker and Ian Hartle and sophomore Nathan Lendman. While the girls’ team is led by junior Rachel Nelson and BHS sophomore Coe Walberg.

The girls’ golf team didn’t start out their season as they had hoped they would. On August 13,  the team participated in the Rockford Co-Op invitational at the Rockford Country Club. This is a very hard 18-hole tournament where none of the girls placed in the top 40. Later in the week, they versed Hampshire for their first match of the season at Timber Pointe, Belvidere’s home course. This was a very close match, but Belvidere ended up losing this match 234 to 215. The top golfer that day was Walberg with a 47.

The girls’ team has a few new members this year, needing the extra people after losing five seniors the previous season. Two freshmen from North, Jazlyn Bengstrom and Emma Walberg, and another freshman from BHS, Karah Hook. This was added onto the returning players Nelson, C. Walberg, and BHS’ Abby Houk (‘21) and Jaclyn McDonald (‘21). They have a new coach this year as their coach from the last few seasons resigned from the district. Their new coach is Ms. Michaela Binz, a teacher at North.

“I enjoy being part of the golf team. I have felt comfortable and have had fun participating in a new sport. Everyone has had a positive attitude and has been very helpful to each other. Everyone has made me feel welcome and part of the golf family. I am really looking forward to a great season,” said E. Walberg.

Facing off Rockford Co-Op for their first conference match wasn’t the way that they were hoping to start off, losing this match 242 to 196. Belvidere’s scores were led by Nelson with a 49. A couple days later, they versed Harlem at Atwood Golf Course. This was another loss in the books for Belvidere with a score of 249 to 215. Scores were led by C. Walberg with a 51 and Nelson with a 52.

The boys’ team has had a better start to their season. Starting out with two tournaments: the Boylan tournament and the Blue Thunder Invitational. As a team, they finished sixth at the Boylan Invite, Baker finished in 10th as an individual. They finished in ninth at the Blue Thunder Invitational, with Baker and Lendman finishing in fifth.

The boys’ team is considerably larger than the girls, having 25 golfers. Returning varsity players include Baker, Nathan Lendman (‘21), Ian Hartle (‘20) and Matthew Stark (‘19). Their coach is returning coach Allen McCormick.

Their first match of the season against Jefferson was canceled, but they got back out the next day to play their match against their cross-town rival, Belvidere. North won this match 169 to 238. Top golfers that day were Baker with a 39, Lendman with a 42 and Hartle with a 44.

“Individually, I hope to play well throughout tournaments and during the season leading to, hopefully, making it back to state. For the team as a whole, I hope we will place top five in conference and have a positive attitude leading for next season,” said Baker.