“Matt has already played a lot of golf this year,” coach Jon Andersen said. “The ball is so pure coming off his club.
“His hard work is paying off, and he’s driven. He wants to win the Big Nine, he wants to go to state. He has a lot of goals, and they’re all attainable.”
Senior Galt Goettl is back after missing last season following knee and wrist surgery. The other seniors who played varsity golf last season were Justin Else and Jordan Hellie. Senior Brett Mulligan will also play some varsity golf.
Junior Louie Colway was West’s second-best player in the last half of last season, and sophomore Tripp Bastian got varsity experience in 2013, as well.
“Having Galt back really helps us,” Andersen said. “The younger kids should be better. I really think we can contend for the Big Nine title.”
West begins the season Saturday at the Marshall Invitational.
Mankato East girls
This will be the fourth season of varsity golf for seniors Caylin Steinberg and Caitlin Clause, and senior Amanda Broman also has a lot of varsity experience. Other returning letterwinners are seniors Molly Manning, Emily Stengle and Alexis Just.
The Cougars finished fifth at the Big Nine meet.
“We’re hoping to finish a little higher,” coach Aaron Anderson said. “Everything we’ve done so far has been indoors so hopefully it will be nice enough to get outside.”
East has competed in Class AAA the last two seasons but returns to Class AA this season.
East opens the season today with a dual meet against New Ulm at North Links Golf Course.
Mankato West girls
Aaron Miller was just named the head coach this week so he’s learning things about the roster, which includes returning varsity players Emily Smith and Kendra Allen, both of whom are seniors.
Juniors Mari Buseth, Maddie Mueller and Claire Patterson and sophomore Jisoo Kim are expected challenge for varsity spots, too.
“The seniors all cheer for each other,” Miller said. “We had one senior advance to the second day of the section tournament last year, and we’re hoping one of the seniors can get that far again.”
West’s first meet is Saturday at the Marshall Invitational.