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HHS girls' golf continues to build for the future

Sophomore Sam Benson follows through after teeing off during a home meet. Alec Hamilton / RiverTown Multimedia

The Hastings girls' golf team finished fourth in the Metro East Conference but did not advance as a team to the second day of sections. Head coach Becky Hartung said the end-of-season results were a mixed bag in regards to her expectations.

"My goals for the season may have fallen a little short, but my goals for the future of the girls' golf team are starting to happen," she explained. "We were in the hunt for second (place) and ended up fourth in our conference. We had many opportunities this year (to) place better than we did and the girls realize every stroke matters."

Part of that future are the girls returning next season as there was only one senior on the team this past year.

"We had a lot of quality girls out for golf this season," Hartung said. "The great majority of the girls already had knowledge and skills of the game. We didn't have to start from scratch, we haven't seen this in previous years. These younger girls' enthusiasm and hard work ethic started a spark in the rest of the team."

That work ethic is why Hartung said she is so optimistic about next season and the future of the program.

"Another positive thing happening in the program, girls are not hanging their clubs up after the season," she said. "Many of the girls are taking lessons, getting in tournaments, going out and playing with their friends, or just hitting golf balls in their backyards. These are key elements in building a successful program."

The Raiders graduate just one senior, Nicole Neuman, and return five other golfers who played varsity this season and received All-Conference recognition.

"(Sophomore) co-captain Hannah Hubbart was named All-Conference and took fifth in the conference (standings). Co-captain Sam Benson (also a sophomore) received All-Conference Honorable Mention. Along with Hannah and Sam, I'm going to be looking for Shannon O'Connor (a junior) for strong leadership next season. Senior Nicole Neuman added some fire power to our scoring. Hannah, Sam, Shannon and Nicole were all key players this year and really helped mentor the younger girls. They really made the younger girls feel comfortable. Seventh-graders Megan Brown and Lauren Hubbart also played varsity. We have a lot of young girls with great potential, it comes down to getting out and playing in the summer."

Alec Hamilton

Alec Hamilton is a sports reporter and general assignment reporter at the Hastings Star Gazette. He is a journalism graduate of Drake University.

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