WAYNE – As fall competition was called off due to COVID for the Wayne State College women’s golf program, the team is hoping to get a chance to compete on the course once the temperatures warm back up in the spring.
The Wildcat Athletic Department announced last June that the women’s golf program would be reinstated as it was suspended at the end of the 2012-13 school year.
Joey Baldwin is in his first year of leading the WSC women’s golf team. Coach Baldwin is a 2002 graduate from Wayne State College where he played baseball and competed on the men’s golf team.
After graduating from WSC, he spent eight years as a police officer in Kansas City as coach Baldwin said he really likes coaching and teaching the golf swing.
“Right now, I’m going through the PGA Golf Professional Program,” said Baldwin. “I’ve been to several different golf academies across the United States giving lessons and learning how to teach. Just really enjoy what I’m doing and looking forward to getting started.”
Coach Baldwin has a goal for the team’s first year being a top five finish within the conference.
The current roster is made up of five members who are all freshman eligibility-wise being Tricia Hemann from Minneapolis, MN; Sophie Jansa Sioux Falls, SD (O’Gorman HS); Abbey Kurmel from Okemos, MI; Jazmine Taylor from Omaha (Millard North HS) and Paige Peters of Bancroft (BRLD).
The team has been able to utilize the Kirk Gardner Indoor Athletic Complex where they could hit the golf balls down a 30-yard-long cage along with working on chipping and putting on campus.
“So, we basically practice about four to five times a week,” Baldwin added. “Then we did some qualifying rounds where I did some modified tournaments, so it was just our girls playing against themselves. Just to kind of get them into competitive mode.”
With Wayne State College re-adding their women’s golf team to the NSIC, there are now 12 conference schools who have women’s golf after St. Cloud State recently dropped theirs.
Wayne State College had a handful of tournaments scheduled for the fall of 2020 but have since moved a few into the spring of 2021 which could possibly start with a trip to Phoenix, Arizona in early March.
The goal is to get in between 7 – 8 tournaments in the spring of 2021.
The team will return and begin their spring practices on January 10 practicing inside until it’s nice enough to get on the course. A tentative schedule is a trip to Phoenix, Arizona in early March to open the season followed by other tournaments in Kansas City; Wayne; Sioux Falls, SD; Newton, KS along with the conference tournament, regionals and nationals.
Last Wednesday marked the initial signing period for student-athletes to sign their national letter of intent. Abby Brodersen from Boone Central High School is the first to join the 2021 recruiting class for Wayne State College women’s golf.
Coach Baldwin said he is hoping a few more individuals give their commitment in the next month or so.
“I’m hoping to have eight and then eventually I’d like to work our way up to 10,” said Baldwin. “So, if we can get one or two more girls signed for this next year, I think we’ll be in good shape.”
Brodersen is a four year starter in golf and track and field at Boone Central High School. This fall, Brodersen was the Class C individual state champion with rounds of 77 and 78 as she recorded a season scoring average of 77. She closed her high school career as a four-time Class C state qualifier and three-time Class C medalist that included a state runner-up finish last year as a junior.
“I think in her career she won 41 medals and I think 23 or 24 of those were first place medals,” Baldwin added. “So, she’s used to winning. She’s very competitive and she’s got a great work ethic. So, I’m very excited to have her a part of our program.”
During her high school career, Brodersen was a three-time district champion, two-time Mid State Conference champion and was named Super State in golf as a junior and senior.
Brodersen also excels in the classroom, earning Academic All-State honors all four years in high school.
View more information on the WSC women’s golf program by visiting wscwildcats.com.