The Mitchell High School girls golf team has a shot at redemption.
The Kernels will tee off in the Class AA state golf tournament on Monday and Tuesday at Cattail Crossing Golf Course in Watertown. Mitchell just played at the course on May 20 and came away with a 10th place finish in the 13-team field. The Kernels shot a 389 and finished 83 shots behind first-place Sioux Falls O'Gorman.
"Our No. 1 goal I think for all of them is to improve on that Watertown course," Mitchell coach Keri Munsen said. "That was one of our worst rounds we ever shot as a team and I think it's kind of engraved in their minds."
Now, the Kernels have a shot to reverse their fortunates on state's biggest stage.
"We are excited to get out there and basically improve from last time and just show people how hard we have been working," Munsen added.
The Kernels haven't played competitively since May 28 at the Brandon Valley Invitational. They've used the extra time and nicer weather to gear up for state.
"They have been out on the course and they have been spending time out there," Munsen said. "... It's great as a coach that they are actually caring about it. They want to improve themselves and they want to do better and they are actually preparing for the state tournament."
Munsen will emphasize taking a positive mental approach at state and not stressing the bad shots.
"I just want them to go out there and have fun and swing well and just play the way that I know they can all play," Munsen said.
The Kernels that qualified for state include Masy Mock, Kailee Henglefelt, Ella Flippin, Quinn Dannenbring, Allison Meyerink and Olivia Huber.
Mock and Henglefelt have the most experience. Mock took 17th at state last year, while Henglefelt finished 53rd as the Kernels tied for 10th place.
"They have been playing for a few years and they played that course many times," Munsen said. "They know how to play it for the most part. ... I know Masy obviously travels around in the summer too and I think she plays that course. She has a really good idea about it."
Munsen expects Sioux Falls O'Gorman, Aberdeen Central, Yankton and Sioux Falls Roosevelt to be in the hunt for the team title. She said the Kernels will be in the next batch of teams.
"We know realistically where we stand in the state," Munsen said. "We are kind of shooting for the eight-place area-seventh-to-eighth place area. That would be a really big goal of ours. We kind of talked about it and if we shoot what we need to shoot, it's a realistic goal for us."