Lakers have won much, but keep looking for more
After winning their second-straight Class 2A state championship, along with taking state individual co-medalist honors, there will be no complacency held by the Detroit Lakes girls’ golf team.
The 2013 season was completed with near perfection, as the Lakers not only handily won the state title, they went undefeated during the regular season by winning all their meets, posted a new MSHSL one-day state meet record of 297 and teammates junior Natalie Roth and freshman Kate Smith won top honors by tying individually for medalist laurels.
Oh, and by the way, the entire team is back next year.
“Other than the weather which forced us having a late start to the season, everything just about went perfect,” said DL head coach Cali Harrier. “Winning a state title, having co-medalists and seeing all six of our girls finish in the top 18 at state is special.”
The juggernaut Lakers plowed through their competition, with the majority of the time the most stringent competition being themselves.
All six of the Lakers medaled in a meet at least once this season, thus showing how deep and talented the squad is.
“Every girl on the team wants what’s best for each other, but they really do push each other into becoming better players,” Harrier said. “And that makes our team that much better.”
Along with Smith winning her second-straight individual state medalist honor, Roth stormed out of the gates last year and continued to play better throughout this season.
She peaked at the state meet, where Roth shot a first-day low score of two-under par 70.
Roth and Smith tied with a 27-hole final score of 108. In fact, all four of the Lakers’ scores on that first day broke 80, with Smith shooting an even-par 72, junior Trisa Hutchinson a 77 and sophomore Sydney Busker a 78.
The all-time record of 296, held by Minnewaska, was in danger up to the end, but the Lakers finished just one stroke shy of tying it with a 297.
DL already holds the all-time state meet record of 619, which they recorded during the 2012 state meet.
“Breaking that 296 is a good carrot to dangle for next year,” Harrier said.
Over the last two years, every carrot dangled in front of the Lakers has been snatched up with authority.
It looks no different next season, as all six return, including Smith, Roth, Hutchinson, Busker, juniors Matty Tschider and Emma Thompson.
If state title No. 3 is taken as convincingly as No. 2 was, the title “dynasty” can start appearing when the Lakers are mentioned.
It’s a term held by Minnewaska a few years ago and one the Lakers can earn with another dominating season in 2014.
But first things first – the offseason.
“The girls don’t think too much about being a dynasty, they are concerned about doing well for the next level and that’s college,” Harrier said. “They are just working hard in improving their games over the offseason and taking part in a lot of summer tournaments.”
The future of the program is also pretty rosy, with the junior varsity program – run by assistant coach Jill Schramel – flourishing.
“We are fortunate to have such a good feeder program to keep it strong for the future,” Harrier included.
With next season being the last for Hutchinson, Roth, Thompson and Tschider, enjoying what they have accomplished will be a priority.
“It was such a whirlwind of a season, that we really didn’t get to enjoy what these girls were accomplishing,” Harrier said. “Next year, I’d like to see the girls relax and have fun. To think about what they have done over the last five years, is quite amazing.”
Expect more amazing feats if the Laker girls’ golf team can build on what they already have.