The golf season is just beginning and the Dallas Center-Grimes Fillies are looking into what’s ahead of them for the 2017 season. But first, Coach John Klaessy looks back at last year’s season.
Coach Klaessy has now been coaching golf for five years, all of which have been for the Fillies.
The Fillies had a great season last year. They finished with a 24-11 record on the year, placed sixth out of 12 in the Regional Championship meet held in Newton last season and they placed third in both the Little Hawkeye Conference (LHC) and the LHC Tournament.
In school history, the 2016 Fillies golf team, shot three of the top five 18-hole team scores. In the 18-hole meets, the Fillies shot a 422 at the Winterset Invitational and placed third, they placed fourth with a 430 at the Bondurant Lady Jays Golf Invitational and shot a 431 at the Conference Tournament in Grinnell for fifth place.
The Fillies have a large group returning from last season; 17 out of 25 golfers. Of those 17 returners, five are letter winners.
Maddie Calease is one of the five returning letter winners for the Fillies. The senior is a three-time letter winner, had an average of 55.5 shots per meet last season and finished 14th out of 70 in the Regional Championship Meet.
Senior BrookLynn Herrmann and junior Sarah Rauschenberg are both two-time letter winners for the Fillies. Herrmann shot a 58.9 average last season and Rauschenberg had a 58.2 average.
The two sophomore returnees are Aubree Klug and Lydia Steier. Klug had an average of 56.1 shots per meet last year and Steier finished with a shot average of 58.5. Both Fillies have one letter going into the 2016 season.
Klaessy believes there could be several other contributors to the Fillies golf team this season. These golfers include juniors Reagan Stokely, Kara-Lyn Moran, Karley Jacobus, Anna Nelson and Emily Frett as well as sophomore Annagrace Dalbey.
Klaessy also mentions that he and his team has a few conference favorites to compete against. He said one of the teams he looks forward to playing is Pella. They are three-time LHC Tournament champions and will be returning three of the top 13 golfers from the tournament, they also have a returning 2016 State Qualifier.
Newton is another team the Filly coach is looking forward to playing again. Newton is a second place team with three returning starters this season. The third team Klaessy is excited to play again is Grinnell as they have a returning conference champion as well as three newcomers with strong potential.
Coach Klaessy says this season’s team has many strengths. One of the biggest strengths for the Fillies is the addition of volunteer assistant coach Cassy Lowry. Another strength of this team is their depth. This might be the biggest team the Fillies have had in school history, with their five returning starters, a sixth with varsity experience from last season and three transfers with varsity experience.
Klaessy also believes the balance of the team will be another strength this season. He mentioned that the top six of the returners averaged within 4.5 strokes of each other. Each of these returners had their individual score count in at least 50 percent of the meets they played in.
The experience of his two seniors, Calease and Herrmann, is another thing Klaessy is confident in. He believes the combination of the two seniors’ five letters and them having had started all 13 meets last season, will help guide the Fillies this season.
As well as strengths, the Fillies have a few challenges they will have to overcome; beyond the usual unpredictable spring weather.
The Fillies have to replace the leadership of both of their captains this season, Julia Austin and Megan Dillivan. Austin was their number one golfer last season, she finished fifth in the LHC tournament. She was also awarded an All-Conference and Academic All-State member. Austin is now playing golf at Graceland University.
Dillivan was a two-year co-captain of the Filly golf team. She made an outstanding ten starts last year, despite a shoulder injury throughout the entire season.
A new challenge for the Fillies this season will be playing Indianola said Klaessy. The once 5A school just joined the LHC this year and will be hosting the Conference Tournament at the end of the season. This could make it difficult for the Fillies as they have never played the course.
The Fillies have a few goals set in mind for the 2017 season. The main goals for Klaessy is for his team this season is to continue to improve individually and as an entire team and to have fun and bond.
The team has their own goals too. The Fillies would like to have every player cut at least eight strokes off of their average. As a team they would like to break the school’s 18-hole team score of 393. Toward the end of the season, the Fillies would like to compete for the Conference Championship and then advance to the State Meet.
The Fillies begin their season on Saturday, April 1 with an invitational at Warrior Run Golf Course in Norwalk at 8:30 a.m.