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Seven return for Kernel girls golf; weather delays beginning of season

The Kernels have found it challenging to see where they stand early in the girls golf season.

Mitchell co-head coach Rob Marchand said Monday that his team has only been able to play six holes outside since beginning practice this season.

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“It is frustrating, but we’re fortunate we have a place where we can hit full swings,” said Marchand, whose team practices indoors in the lower gym at Mitchell High School. “We can’t work on different aspects and simulate outdoor variables.”

The Kernels were scheduled to open their season Thursday at a triangular in Sioux Falls, but it was canceled due to weather. Mitchell will have to wait until next week to play its season opener. Its next action is the Pierre Invitational at 10 a.m. Tuesday in Pierre.

Marchand said he doesn’t know if the Kernels will be able to get on the course before their first event.

Last year, the Kernels placed ninth at the Class AA state tournament and were paced by senior Kristin Sabers. Sabers, who plays basketball for Dakota Wesleyan University, also took ninth individually and has been Mitchell’s top golfer for the last several years.

“You can’t replace Kristin because you can’t have any expectations of replacing that,” said Marchand, who is in his second year as co-head coach with Mark Horan.

The Kernels return seven letter winners from the 2013 season, including senior Macy Miller and juniors Kylie Barington and Madison VanWalleghen. Marchand said the team will be paced by the trio. Miller placed 30th at last year’s state tournament, Barington tied for 53rd and VanWalleghen tied for 78th.

“They’re three good players,” Marchand said, adding he has others who have varsity experience. “They’ve all played some and the nucleus is very solid.”

Other returning letter winners are seniors Trisha Flemmer, Allison Miller and Allysa Sorenson. Marchand said the lineup will rely on the returners and it’s hard to judge where the other players are because of indoor practice.

There are around 25 girls out for the Kernels this season, something Marchand is excited about.

“We have a good core of freshmen and numbers in the middle school are good,” he said. “If we can keep them excited and interested, the future of Kernel golf is good. In terms of how competitive we’ll be has yet to be seen because they’re the ones who have to put the work in.”

Brooke Cersosimo
Brooke Cersosimo is The Daily Republic's sports editor.