At the start of the season, one strength that coach Charlie Danner can already see with the Metamora girls golf team is the amount of returning experience from last year.
Nine players from last year are returning with varsity experience, with six of them being letter winners.
“I have four seniors and they’re going to be the core,” he said.
The four letter-winning seniors, Kate Anderson, Joelie Zwick, Abby Young and Brianna Janusz, have been with Danner all four years of high school.
They’re joined by letter winners Laura Wipfler and Katie Trout, both sophomores.
So far, Danner said the first week of practice went a bit different than usual. While he did host try-outs, everyone that came out stayed on the team.
“We’ve basically just been playing,” he said.
The team has been using that playing to try and get as prepared as possible for a strong match early in the season.
“Our very first match (today) is against the state champion and No. 10 team from last year. That’s U-High and Morton,” Danner said.
The match takes place at Illinois State University.
In conference season, Danner said that a goal he always has is to be in the top three. To get the top three, though, the team will have to be strong against Pekin and Morton, as well as watch out for Lexi Hammerton of Dunlap.
“We’re looking just to be competitive and have fun,” he said.
A change the team will see in the postseason is a bigger competing class.
“Last year, we went down to the A class. This year, we got bumped back up to the big schools by six students. I told the girls, ‘It’s all about the same.’”
In fact, the bump up may actually help the team qualify more for sectionals. Last year’s regional the team was assigned to featured the No.1 girl in the state.