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Local Sports

Cardinal golf teams swing into spring

Newton High’s golf teams haven’t had a lot of course time since practices began on March 11. Just like most other 2019 high school golf teams, the Cardinal golfers have had to wait for snow to melt.

The Newton girls’ squad has four returning golfers from its varsity team of 2018.There’s a quality freshman joining it’s ranks. Newton’s girls stay in the Class 4A division for 2019 postseason.

Newton’s boys are back in Class 3A competition, which means they play a full spring schedule in 2019. That includes postseason play.

The Cardinal boys played Class 4A fall competition plus a spring season for Little Hawkeye Conference the past two years. In 2016, Newton’s boys were in Class 3A, won the LHC tournament title and qualified two golfers for the 3A state tournament.

The Cardinal boys open the 2019 season on March 29 at Norwalk. The girls open on April 8 in the Urbandale Invitational.

Girls’ Golf

Newton High girls’ golf coach Scott Enyart begins his 18th season at the helm of the program. There have been only three coaches in the program’s history — Dick Foote and Nile McCoy coached for 17 years apiece.

“We’re looking forward to working with a team that is highly motivated,” Enyart said of him and his assistant coach Alison Grier. “They want to compete at a high level.”

The Cardinal girls have four returners who played in the 2018 regional tournament. They are senior Arieal Lum, junior Jordon Pritchard and sophomores Bekah Vasseau and Abby Price.

Price finished with a strong regional tournament as the team’s No. 2 golfer in the meet. She had a 60 score average for 9-hole meets with her low score of 47. She averaged 108 for 18-hole events with a low score of 100.

Pritchard ended up with a 9-hole average of 56 and an 18-hole average of 112. Her low scores were a 50 and a 106.

Lum finished with a 9-hole average of 59 but had a low score for 9 holes of 54. She also averaged 108 for 18 holes but tallied a personal-low 94 for one meet.

Vasseau shot season’s low scores of 58 and 105 last year. She averaged 59 for 9-holes and 113 for 18-holes.

The other retuning golfer is senior Nycole Patton. She was a first-year golfer a year ago and shot a 61 average for 9-holes.

“The returners are excited to improve upon their experience so far,” Enyart said. “We also are excited about having freshman Rylee Heryford on the team this season. She is one of the top junior golfers in the state.”

Heryford leads a group of five newcomers to the team. Junior Erika Van Sickle is among those. Also are freshmen Emily Zink, Morgan Lammers and Madison Price, who is Abby Price’s cousin.

Heryford is a two-time Iowa Junior PGA player of the year — 13-and-under in 2017 and 14-15-year old division in 2018. She has been successful on the Iowa PGA Junior Tour and couldn’t wait to be able to play Newton High golf.

“Having Rylee will motivate everyone on the team. We’re a close team and ready to work hard to be as competitive as we can. We will be Class 4A again and embrace that challenge to go up against the best at regionals, state, and in several of our invitationals this season as well.”

Newton’s girls went 2-4 in Little Hawkeye Conference duals a year ago. They finished six in the LHC tournament.

Enyart said the 2019 LHC is very balanced with Grinnell returning the most experience. He said Dallas Center-Grimes and Newton are building while Pella, Norwalk and Indianola look to maintain their consistency.

Boys’ Golf

Back in the spring are the Cardinal boys for a full Class 3A season. The past two years they have played a couple of invitationals and competed Class 4A postseason in the fall then had played in the spring to compete in the Little Hawkeye Conference.

“I’m excited about it. It’s great for our kids giving them the opportunity to be more competitive,” Riley said. “A couple of years ago we were in 3A and had a great spring season. The guys will be able to play all 12 meets this spring and have the postseason to look forward to.”

Newton has five returning golfers from last spring’s season and six overall. Back are juniors Damon Reynolds, Nate Keith, Parker Sherwood and Wade Klingensmith and sophomore Connor Gosselink.

Senior Colin McAnally was one of the top golfers during the fall Class 4A competition in 2017. He did not play in the spring.

Reynolds and Keith played varsity in the fall and spring. Kingensmith, Sherwood and Gosselink played junior varsity.

“Colin will help us now that he is healthy and ready to go again. I look for Damon and Nate to have strong seasons,” Riley said. “The other three played a lot of junior varsity and could step up and be huge for us.”

Newcomers are senior Adam Maharry and sophomores Andrew Culbertson and Zach Smith. The Cardinals have five freshmen out — Ethan Walker, Lincoln Ergenbright, Hunter Kennedy, Dallas King and Garrett Beerends.

“I expect our returning golfers to be leaders and so far I seen that from them. They are helping each other at practices,” Riley said.

Practices have been inside as the preseason opened because of snow still on the ground. Riley used most of the Cardinal boys’ golf program budget developing an inside golf range. They have a launch monitor to help with hitting plus stations for putting and chipping.

Riley said the girls’ golf team is able to take advantage of the inside facility if the boys’ aren’t using it.

“This is going to help our program. We’ll have a jump on some teams because we were able to work on things even though we weren’t able to be outside,” Riley said.

The Cardinal boys were seventh in the LHC tournament a year ago. They won it in 2016, when they were Class 3A.

Riley said Norwalk, Oskaloosa and Pella are strong contenders to win the conference.

“I don’t know about us yet. We’ll see how our guys progress,” he said.

Contact Jocelyn Sheets at
641-792-3121 ext. 6535 or jsheets@newtondailynews.com

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