Bowyer, Rost return for Vikings
Lauren Bowyer, one of the top golfers in the state, returns for her senior campaign on the Minneota girls' golf team.
Bowyer placed 18th at last year's state tournament and was impressive with her lengthy drives.
Walker Hennen is in his third year as head coach and will be assisted this year by Trent Esping, a former Minneota golfer.
The girls had a depleted squad last season with only three varsity members. All three of them return this year, Bowyer, Jeren Rost and eighth-grader Isabelle Gillund. Plus, seventh-grader Ava Panka is new to the team this season.
Bower won the Section 3A meet last spring and advanced to the state tournament. She signed a national letter of intent to play for UM-Crookston next fall. Her low score last year was a 43 and she averaged an impressive 46.
Rost shot a low of 47 a season ago and averaged 51 for nine holes. She finished 12th in the Section 3A meet.
"Our strength is going to be our two seniors this year," said Hennen. "Both were very solid players last year with Lauren punching her ticket to state and placing in the top 20."
The lack of players on the team has been problematic for Minneota and other teams in recent years. The Vikings had only three players last year, but have four this season. Although the two younger golfers are not ready for varsity competition, Hennen is hoping they might be by the end of the year.
"Our question mark, along with many teams in our conference and section, is low numbers," said Hennen. "Many teams in the area struggle to get the number of girl golfers required for a team. We do have four golfers this year, so with some work hopefully we can develop our younger players and have a team of four girls at the end of the year."
April 12 - Marshall
Invitational, 1 p.m.
April 22 - Conference at Minneota, 4:30 p.m.
April 29 - Conference at Tyler, 4:30 p.m.
May 5 - Conference at Tracy, 4:30 p.m.
May 10 - Lakeview
Invitational, 11 a.m.
May 12 - Conference at Granite Falls, 4:30 p.m.