WAYNE – A sport that was made to be socially distanced is golf as the Wayne High girls golf team will be opening their season later this week.
With a pair of home invites taking place about a month a part from the Wayne Country Club, the Blue Devil girls golf team will get plenty of chances to improve their scores on multiple courses.
Josh Johnson started coaching golf in the fall of 2008 and will be entering his 13th year leading the girls team. He said this group of girls have come a long way this summer.
“We were actually able to get out quite a bit and play,” said Johnson. “Luckily our sport leads itself to social distancing and everything that we can do. We were always away from each other.”
Early in the fall practice schedule, the Wayne High girls golf team is looking at five golfers with only one senior and no juniors. There’ll also be a handful of junior high girls joining as managers.
The team took to the course last week and has been out ever since. The team also met a couple nights a week over the summer during an open-course format.
“We kind of put together a little summer league,” Johnson added. “Where we hosted Laurel, Battle Creek and Beemer one day and we went to Laurel and did the same thing. So, we were able to get out and do a few team events as well and kind of see where we were at in July.”
Wayne High girls golf will be following the NSAA and Wayne Community Schools protocols. The foam will be placed back in the hole during tournaments and the team will wear masks when traveling.
The top returner is senior Natalie Bentjen as coach Johnson mentioned she’s been knocking on the door at state the past two years.
“She’s been around quite a while,” Johnson mentioned. “She helped out too in junior high as a manager. I feel like she’s been around forever. It’d be nice to see her blossom this senior year.
Bentjen won the Stanton Invite last year and shot a season-best 18-hole score of 89 in Albion.
Coach Johnson said he was devastated not being able to coach the boys team in the spring of 2020 but is excited to see the girls team compete and play.
“I think our girls and I are just excited to be able to compete,” said Johnson. “I guarantee we aren’t going to take anything for granted this year. We’ll give it everything we got.”
The Wayne High girls golf season will open on Friday, August 21 at 9:30 a.m. during the West Point-Beemer Invite from Indian Trails Country Club in Beemer. Following a road dual at Laurel-Concord-Coleridge on Tuesday, August 25, Wayne High will host an invite on Friday, August 28. Another home invite will be held on Thursday, September 24 with the Mid State Conference golf outing slated for Thursday, October 1 from Evergreen Hill Golf Course in Battle Creek.