Four seniors who a year ago were in the varsity lineup a majority of the time are expected to lead the Chadron Lady Cardinals this fall, Coach C.J. Bach said late last week. Pure and simple, they have the most experience.
Bach noted golf is a sport in which the players’ scores determine what’s what, and he’s pleased that his team has some promising underclassmen who could keep the seniors on their toes.
The seniors include Maralee Rischling, who placed among the top 10 in three tournaments last season and twice had scores below 100. She’s opening the season as the Cardinals’ No. 1.
The others who made up the Cards’ top five most of last season are Raleigh Bridges, Gracie Jones and Jackson Smith. A fifth senior on the roster is Brendilou Armstrong, who hasn’t been playing golf quite as long as the others, but continues to improve, the coach said.
Other team members are juniors Norah Winkler and Hallie Chipperfield, sophomore Kenzie Pourier and freshmen Teagan Bach and Elliana Uhing. Any or all of them could crack the varsity lineup if their scores are good enough.
“I’ll know more after we’ve played in a couple of tournaments,” Bach said. That is happening this week. The Cards opened their schedule during the Western Conference Tournament in Sidney on Tuesday and will play in the Bayard Invitational on Thursday. The remainder of the schedule will follow.
The Chadron team is missing Maddi Pelton, who was the team’s pacesetter much of her career. She placed among the top 10 at every tournament last season, always had scores in the 80s or low 90s and was a four-time state tournament qualifier. She earned a medal by finishing 12th at state last October. She also was a high honor student when she graduated in May.
There’s no doubt about which team in the Panhandle will be the best again this season. Scottsbluff has won the Class B state tournament title the past two years and returns most of last year’s team, including medalist Anna Kelley, a junior this fall.
The remainder of the Cardinals’ schedule:
Aug. 31—at Scottsbluff, Sept. 7—Chadron, Sept. 9—at Mitchell, Sept. 14—at Gering, Sept. 21—at Ogallala, Sept. 27—at Alliance, Oct. 4-5—at District Tourney, Oct. 11-12—at State Tourney.