MFL MarMac boys, girls golf teams will hit the course with increased numbers

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Members of the MFL MarMac boys golf team are (front, left to right) Aedan Whitney, Austin Schlee, Sawyer Keehner, Bryce Radloff, Jaron Wille, Austin Trappe, Ben Krambeer, Jaxton Schroeder; (back) assistant coach Mike Meyer, Micheal Balster, Elias Hatt, Collin Henkels, Jonah Wille, Gabe McGeough, Quinn McGeough, Cullen McShane, Nick Krambeer, Nolan Lerch, Kyle Tilson, Joe Grau and head coach Jake Wilke. Not pictured is Will Koether. (Photos by Audrey Posten)

Members of the MFL MarMac girls golf team are (front, left to right) Clare Grau, MacKenzie Bachman, Kaylee Bachman, Miranda Lang; (back) assistant coach Mike Meyer, Morgan Jacobson, Olivia Martins, Kaylee Nuehring, Lauren Haberichter, Mallory Lang, Wren Feuerhelm and head coach Jake Wilke.

By Audrey Posten, Times-Register

 

The MFL MarMac boys and girls golf teams start play this week—and they’ll do so with a significant increase in participation. Boys numbers have doubled from 10 to 20 golfers, while the girls team has grown from five to 10.

 

“The numbers have been awesome. I’ve had a big response with the golf program,” said Jake Wilke, who took over as head coach this season after serving as an assistant last year.

 

While additional promotion has helped spur interest, Wilke admitted camaraderie played a part too. “I have a good group of kids, and they all like to hang out with each other, and I think overall it’s going to be a good season because of that,” he noted.

 

Despite losing three key golfers—Braden Landt, Gavin Meana and Ben Miene—to graduation, Wilke is confident the Bulldog boys have the talent to fill that gap.

 

“We have a lot of good underclassmen coming up, allowing us to be, I think, one of the favorites in the conference,” he said.

 

Wilke listed junior Joe Grau, sophomores Nick Krambeer and Sawyer Keehner and freshman Ben Krambeer among the top players. 

 

He also expects good things from senior Jaxton Schroeder and junior Jonah Wille.

 

“Their leadership and player input during the pre-season has been a great help to the team,” Wilke said.

 

MFL MarMac’s depth means varsity spots are still up for grabs, though.

 

“I have about six guys who could fill in two spots for varsity boys,” Wilke said. “They know it’s a very competitive team. There are 20 boys, and I bet 16 of them could be on any other varsity in our conference.”

 

They are willing to put in the work, often practicing outside after the team works inside.

 

“Even in 35-, 40-degree weather with wind and rain, they just love to game and want to get better,” Wilke said.

 

On the girls side, senior Miranda Lang will lead the Bulldogs. After a postseason run a season ago, Wilke anticipates Lang’s ability, maturity and drive will propel her to the next level. 

 

“I think she’s going to be one of the favorites for the conference,” he said.

 

Seniors Lauren Haberichter and Kaylee Bachman, participating for the first time in 2022, will also boost the team.

 

“Then I have a really strong freshman class, and some girls who have either played or families who play, and they’re familiar with the game,” Wilke added.

 

He’s happy MFL MarMac will be able to field a girls varsity score this season. Ten members means there will also be some wiggle room if a golfer is sick or involved in another activity.

 

To meet their goals this season, Wilke said golfers have to stay within their own game.

 

“That’s one thing that’s beautiful about golf, kind of like cross country or wrestling. It’s a team sport, but it’s an individual sport,” he remarked. “They have to play their own game and know what they’re good at and also work on the things they know they’re struggling at.”

 

Unfortunately, a cold, rainy spring has made preparing for the season—and preparing the golf course—difficult.

 

Although the group has been outside a couple times, most of the work has come indoors. But golfers can only do that for so long and still remain fresh, according to Wilke.

 

“For awhile, you can putt and hit into a net. But until you can actually get on the course or the practice range by the school and figure out what you’re doing, what you’re doing wrong, it’s all what-ifs,” he said. “Hopefully, by this next week, it’s going to turn around for us.”

 

Both the boys and girls teams started the season April 11, in Elkader. Then, the boys were scheduled to play at Waukon on April 12 and the girls at Tri City Golf Course, against Waukon and Postville. Both squads are set to host West Central on April 14.

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