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Girls Golf: Osakis looking to lay a foundation

Chris Grove is back as the head coach of the girls golf program and inherits a young girls roster for the 2022 season.

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Then-freshman Averyonna Graff chips onto the green during her round in the 2021 season. Graff, now a sophomore, is the lone returner from the 2021 season. (Eric Morken / Echo Press)

The Osakis girl golf program is under new leadership as former head coach Chris Grove is back at the helm. Grove had previously been the head coach of the Silverstreaks in 2019.

“It’s fun to be back,” Grove said.

Grove had left the program after the 2019 season to fully commit to seeing his sons, who have now graduated, play spring sports.

Grove takes over the girls and boys program from Jay Johnson, who had to resign due to other work requirements. Bridging the gap between this season and last season has been assistant coach Laken Lymburner.

“I am very thankful for assistant coach Laken Lymburner,” Grove said. “She was with the program last year, so it is nice to have that bridge to last year on the coaching side of things.”

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Sophomore Averyonna Graff is the lone returner from the girls team a year ago. Graff was voted as the most improved golfer on the team last year.

With basically a brand new roster, the Silverstreaks' goal for the season seems to be around learning the game of golf.

“The goal really is just to get out and start right from the basics and to just have as much fun as they can,” Grove said. “So then they enjoy it and go into the summer and say, ‘Hey, let's get together and go out golfing and just improve.’ We want them to keep the improvement going through the summer on their own, so when they come back next year, they just have a little bit more experience.”

With a brand new team comes a heightened focus on team bonding.

“We need to search for a way to gather,” Graff said. “We practice together on chipping and putting and we talk with one another.”

Grove said that Lymburner played a huge part in recruiting new athletes for this year’s team.

One of those new players is junior Mikayla Schablin.

“I’m very excited for the new season,” Schablin said. “This is new for me this year. I'm just excited to give it a try. It's going to be a blast. The most important thing is to have fun.”

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Schablin said she was encouraged to try out for the team by one of her friends.

“One of my friends was like, ‘Hey, do you want to try golf? We're low on girls on the team.’ And I said, ‘Hey, let's give it a try,”’ Schablin said.

Schablin said that she’s currently trying to learn the fundamentals of the game but, more importantly, trying to have fun with it.

“I’m just getting my form and getting the fundamentals down,” Schablin said. “The most important goal is just to have fun. Then try to develop my skills as a golfer and try to find out something new about myself.”

That excitement and desire to learn something new has been confined to the high school wrestling room due to the inclement weather outside.

In these early practices in the wrestling room, chipping and putting has been the emphasis.

For Graff, this part of her short game is something that she wants to continue to focus on as the season progresses.

“The green is probably the most important part [of the game], at least for me anyway, so learning to putt pretty well is a big key,” Graff said.

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For now, the Silverstreaks are stuck practicing when they can indoors. This is something that each golf team in the state has likely had to deal with, at least in the early part of spring.

The weather has already caused postponements for Osakis this season and has been something that has affected the team’s plans.

“That is tough,” Grove said about the conditions. “We've kind of talked about that and we had plans to get outside and then the weather happens again. Our meet that was scheduled for Monday got postponed, not surprisingly. What they all want to do is get outside and play. We say control what you can control and the weather is not one of them.”

When the weather cooperates and the Silverstreaks have the chance to hit the course, Grove is excited to see what the team can do.

“We have one returner and then five new girls [on varsity],” Grove said. “They're coming out kind of just starting a lot more fresh, so it’ll just be good to see how they progress.”

2022 OSAKIS GIRLS GOLF

ROSTER - JUNIORS - Mikayla Schablin, Isabelle Allex, Brooke Euerle, Calla Marthaler; SOPHOMORES - Averyonna Graff; 8th-graders - Claire Marthaler

OSAKIS GIRLS GOLF SCHEDULE

April 22 Home meet, 9 a.m.; at BBE, 1 p.m.

April 27 at Sauk Centre Invite, Noon

May 2 Pre-section at Blackberry Ridge, 9:30 a.m.

May 5 at EVW/Kimball Meet, 4:15 p.m.

May 9 at Paynesville Area, Noon

May 13 at ACGC, 4:15 p.m.

May 16 at Lynx National GC, Noon

June 6 Sections at Blackberry Ridge, TBD

Sam Stuve covers a variety of sports in the Douglas County area. He also is assigned to do some news stories as well.
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