Girls golf whirlwind season this year


The season for the Waunakee Girls Golf team was full of surprises and the unexpected but ended as being above par. Senior Natalie Hoege said she was “really excited and grateful for the opportunity to even play this season.” As safety concerns regarding COVID-19 made playing fall sports this year questionable, the girls golf team was happy that they were able to compete this season, especially the seniors. “Playing my senior year with COVID going on was a huge blessing,” said senior Sydney Grimm. “Being able to have this season with all my new and old teammates has been so much fun. I couldn’t imagine going without that.”

At various points in the season, the team was considered the underdogs. After losing three members of the varsity team last year, two of which graduated and one, senior Elena Maier, who suffered a knee injury the past summer, a return to State was up in the air. However, with two talented freshmen, Jordan Shipshock and Izzi Sticker, and an experienced Hoege added to varsity as well as the return of Grimm and senior Aly Kinzel, the varsity team proved their worth this season. “Well, our coaches said that we were underdogs going into [the Tomah] sectional because Tomah was playing their home course and Onalaska played there all season as well. They told us that we have to want every shot and grind mentally until the end. The conditions were not great that day because of the wind so that mentality had to really kick in. I think some girls thought they could have done better including me, but we used that as fuel into our last week of practice honing in on what we want, which is that state title,” said Hoege. With the team locked in, eyeing a return trip to State, the girls were able to advance their season past sectionals. “I felt a little pressure to get back to state again, but I also knew that our team could do it,” said Grimm. “It’s crazy that I have an awesome team with me, and we actually made it to state for the third consecutive year,” said Hoege. “I think all the hard work in the off season is showing right now, winning regionals, then getting second at sectionals. I know my team puts in the hours and reps to make this thing happen.”

The time spent working on improving their games helped the team not only in sectionals but also at State, as they finished in second place, tying with Arrowhead. “Going into State, I was a mix of both nervous and excited,” said Stricker. “I had a lot of confidence that we would make it there and continue the success from previous years.” The season ended on a high note as Waunakee added to their success from last season.

For the Waunakee girls senior golfers, their high school golf career has come to an end. However, multiple members of the team seek to play golf at the collegiate level. “I would be honored to play in college,” said Hoege. “I had about 10 schools talking to me at one point, but I am overall going for academics. I narrowed it down to 3 schools. I have my top one in mind, but I am not officially committed yet. I’m keeping my options open for now because as we know things can change because of Covid.” “I do not yet have a college picked out, but yes, I am thinking about playing college golf if possible,” said Grimm.