Manistee golf to move forward, find individual success

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The Chippewas graduated Sara Danison, Emalyn Nelson and Mackenzie King from last year’s unit. The trio have been productive, but now Manistee is looking to Kendal Waligorski, who qualified for the national finals as an individual last year, and Olivia Vasquez, a talented senior, to lead the program.

“It was good to be back there,” Manistee head coach Bridget Warnke said. “We have four girls coming back and a new girl. So we’re a bit short on numbers. I’d like to see one or two more girls join us at the start of the school year. That will be one of the challenges of this year, nothing than the numbers overall.”

Key losses

  • Sara Danison (graduate)
  • Emalyn Nelson (graduate)
  • Mackenzie King (graduate)

Key turners

  • Olivia Vasquez (senior)
  • Kendal Waligorski (junior)
  • Sadie Verheek (young)
  • Sara Huber (second year)

What do you want to know

Manistee has a smaller squad than the previous season, but the opportunity for success is still within reach.

Alongside Kendal Waligorski and Olivia Vasquez, the Chippewas’ number one and two golfers, are Sara Huber, Annika Haag and Sadie Verheek, for whom Warnke is thrilled.

“We don’t necessarily compete as a team, but there is an individual aspect to golf as well,” Warnke said. “So I really want to focus on setting goals for each girl.”

With a heavy dose of seniors on the roster last year, Verheek and Huber weren’t on the course very often, but now they should be gaining a huge amount of experience this fall compared to 2021.

“I was upfront with Sadie — she has the potential; she just needs to work on some things,” Warnke explained. “She takes it very seriously. She wants to be able to play an invitational tournament. But she’s never played an 18-hole match, so that’s just another thing we’re working on.”

Referring to Waligorski and Vasquez, Warnke says she’s not worried.

The duo constantly leads by example and practices.

“It’s good to see that they’ll be the ones just going to play,” she said. “They know I have confidence in them and they know what to do. If they have any questions or need help, I know they will contact me. So really for them it’s just playing regularly every days, working on things individually, and getting better and better.”

Prediction

Manistee hopes to fill out his roster once school starts, but from an individual standpoint, the Chippewas present a strong mix of experience and inexperience. Waligorski and Vasquez will lead the way. Together they have a chance to qualify for the national final, while Huber, Haag and Verheek will improve with each game.

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