In the win-loss column, the Lincolnwood girls golf team was down a little bit from last year’s 22-win season. That fact stems largely from the loss of two of their best players, Sydney Herman and Stephanie Perun, to graduation, but looking past the wins and losses and the 2020 Lady Lancers made great strides, individually and as a team.
All four of last year’s returnees saw their stroke averages drop in 2020, but more importantly, the team was more balanced in their overall scoring and didn’t rely on one player to have a standout match.
More often than not, one of the three seniors on the roster, Dorie Krager, Jordyn Gerlach and Micah Gehlbach, led the Lancers on the day, which led Coach Verne Pinkston to honor all three young ladies at the end of the season instead of recognizing just one as a most valuable player.
Each of the three could have laid claim to the honor though as all improved on the year and showed sparks of being the best player on the squad.
Krager lead the team in strokes per nine holes with 50.92 and was the most frequent team-leader, posting the lowest score in nine of Lincolnwood’s 12 matches. She also earned medalist honors in the opening match of the season and was the top scorer for Lincolnwood at the Taylorville Regional, shooting a 103 to finish 23rd overall.
Gerlach was just percentage points behind Krager in her average (51.0) and was the team’s most consistent, with just ten strokes separating her worst round, a 55, and her best round, a 45, which was also the team’s best round of the season. In the regional, she would shoot a 109, second best on the team and 39th best overall.
While Krager and Gerlach both played four years for Coach Pinkston, Gehlbach is still learning the game after finishing her second year in the program. Her average showed that the potential is there, though, as she finished just behind Gerlach with a 52.83 and was the team’s lowest scorer twice on the season. At regionals, she finished 52nd, shooting a 116 as the Lancers finished eighth overall on the day in Taylorville.
All three girls would see their stroke averages drop in comparison to 2019, but none more dramatically than Gehlbach. Krager would go from a 56.17 to a 50.92, while Geralch went from a 53.58 to a 51.0. Gehlbach on the other hand, shaved almost 15 strokes off her game, going from a 67.2 to a 52.83 in her senior year.
Junior Shelby Hattenbach was the other Lincolnwood player that saw a dramatic improvement in her average, going from a 68.2 to a 56.4 this year. Hattenbach even led the team with a 55 one match and was in the 50s in all but the first two matches of the season, a feat she did not accomplish at all last year.
The other three players on the LHS roster, junior Marisa Webb, sophomore Jhia Walker and freshman Kaylee Gerlach, were all getting their first taste of varsity golf this season, but showed improvement as the season progressed.
Webb averaged a 59 for the year and made it into the scoring on Sept. 10 with a season-best 51 at Shoal Creek. Walker, who attends Morrisonville High School, Lincolnwood’s co-op partner, averaged a 60.33, with a low round of 54, a score that came in the middle of a three-match set that also saw her shoot a 55 and a 56.
Gerlach would average a 65.55 on the year, but took six strokes off her score from the first match and her last match, with a season-best 60 also coming at the midway point of the year.
What could hurt the Lady Lancers next year is numbers. With three players graduating and Walker and Webb possibly heading back to their pre-COVID fall sports (cheerleading and volleyball), the roster could be pretty thin in Raymond. Here’s hoping that the next crop of golfers are just waiting their turn and will be hitting the links in the fall.