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Looking 'Fore'ward

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Connersville’s Kaylynn Mohr sets her ball prior to a shot against Batesville at Willowbrook Country Club on Aug. 13. With only one senior playing for CHS this fall, Mohr will be one of several girls whowill return for the 2020 campaign.
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Connersville senior Alexa Weber chips a shot onto the green during a dual with Franklin County at Brookhill Golf Course on Sept. 17. Weber was the lone upperclassman for the Lady Spartans and held down the No. 1 spot for the team.
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Connersville’s Lydia Powell leans into a drive at the Brookhill Golf Course on Sept. 17. Powell and the Lady Spartans closed 2019 with an 8-6 record.

By GRADY TATE - gtate@newsexaminer.com

By whatever standard you apply, the Connersville High School girls golf team can look back on the 2019 season and smile, knowing it was successful.

In addition, for all but one of the Lady Spartans, the team can look forward with anticipation to 2020.

Only one of the girls, Alexa Weber, was a senior, meaning that this fall was an opportunity to soak in as much experience as possible.

And the Lady Spartans took advantage of that.

“The girls got better and better the more they played,” Connersville head coach Chris Bell said. “They seemed to grasp the concept of how important it is to play golf every day. That’s the only way to get better.

“The more you play and practice, the better you’ll become and the more you will learn about yourself and your game. As the season progressed, I saw this in a lot of the girls.”

Connersville won eight of 14 matches throughout the season, but in spite of the winning record, Bell admitted there is still work to be done.

“I think we fell short on some team and individual goals we had personally set,” he said. “However, we made great strides in progressing towards those goals.”

“I am one who personally does not believe that potential can ever be reached on a year-to-year basis. Golf is a lifetime sport.”

Getting better, on the other hand, is something that Bell subscribes to. 

Improvement was key for the Spartans throughout the season, as six of the eight girls on the roster were sophomores or younger.

Weber and Baylee Schneider were the two exceptions.

Bell said he was pleased with what he saw from his lone senior.

“I thought Alexa played some really good golf this year,” he said. “She posted her lowest nine-hole score this year and I feel she’s come a long way to get there.

“I am thankful for her leadership and attitude this year, and the mark she’s left for us to follow.”

Schneider’s season was worth note, as well.

In sectional play, the CHS junior rounded The Elks course in Richmond with a 97, that score good enough to make her Connersville’s lone regional qualifier.

At the regional meet in Lapel, Schneider kept her score below the century mark, carding a 98 through the 18 holes there.

A senior next year, Schneider will more than likely be looked upon to have a strong season, but by no means will she be alone.

Back with her will be teammates Kelli Caldwell, Tyla Patterson, Kaylynn Mohr, Maddie Newman, Alivia Lynn and Lydia Powell.

“I think we as a team will continue to get better. Keep in mind we are still very young,” Bell said. “We should also have a couple freshman coming in, which will be determined.

“There could be a couple of sophomores playing that should have played this year as freshmen, as well.”

Whatever the line-up looks like next season, Bell would like to see that group enjoy the experience as much as this year’s unit did.

“I thought about how much fun we had as a team,” he said, when asked about his favorite thing about 2019. “The talks that we had and the lessons that we learned were important. The closeness we had and the understanding about body language was something that we all enjoyed.

“It’s a fun process to gravitate together as a team. That’s something that seems to get bigger and bigger every year. That makes it very easy to bring new players in and for them to accept the process.”

Continued strides on the course will be a top priority when the team returns to the tee box next season.

“I look forward seeing more growth,” Bell says. “I think a lot of our players gained a lot of valuable experience. As young as we still are, I think we have a lot of good things to build off of.