Speaking to The Press about the team’s development from the season opener, where they took seventh place, to the WDA regional tournament where they took fourth place – a best of the season, Spry laid out the Midget’s odds.
“It’s a team effort for sure because Hazel and Kyndall put in some fantastic numbers and Tristyn had a really good performance,” said Spry. “There has only been one time in the season where we were over 400 and that was our goal, to be under 400 and do it, and all of them stayed focused and did work.”
The Western Region tournament took place at the Riverwood Golf Course in Bismarck this year, where the top six teams were to advance to the state championship. After a poor start to the season, averaging sixth place, the girls stepped up a gear in the second half of the season as they exceeded all expectations – except their own.
With a team score of 361, tied for fifth place with Bismarck Legacy, they were one stroke away from third place by the close of the tournament.
Spry praised the team’s senior leadership throughout the season, whose contribution was also evident in Monday’s tournament. Lola Homiston remained at the top of Dickinson, with an 83. Her score placed her seventh in the individual standings, followed by Abigail Goettle and Chloe Kraenzel with a respectable 90, falling just below the individual top ten.
Emter had 98 points in the tournament, equaling her teammate and Midget’s youngest competitor, Peterson. Spry said he’s thrilled to be working with Peterson as she’s a powerful hitter who only needs a little more work on her midrange and short plays. Like the majority of their teammates, this will be Emter and Peterson’s first experience in state competition.
Spry understands that times like a State Tournament are memories that will last a lifetime, and he wants more than individual and team success – he wants them to savor the moment.
“Hazel is going to be a leader for next year, she’s not a very long hitter but she’s consistent and she’s in control and that’s key for any golfer,” Spry said. “This is the first time that we are going to declare it in my time here… Quite honestly, I want the girls to have fun and obviously do their best, but I want them to enjoy the moment.”
Despite good early starts for other Class A teams, when it mattered most, many programs fell short of the occasion. Minot, who throughout the season had consistently placed close to Dickinson, experienced a lack of focus early on, dropping to seventh in the WDA tournament. Legacy, who finished fifth, had never ranked below the Midgets this season, but surprisingly did so with several stray shots.
“The other teams are strong, but golf is funny, you never know what’s going to happen with the scores. You have good days and bad and we are lucky to have a good day for us, ”said Spry of the generally stronger competition performance. “I am extremely happy in fourth place. During the season I was going through the numbers and thinking of 360 would qualify us for the state and we were pretty much in our number.
From the West Region, Dickinson will join the state teams of Bismarck Century, Mandan, Bismarck High School, Bismarck Legacy and Williston, an achievement the Midgets haven’t accomplished in years.
If they hadn’t qualified as a team, Spry knew that at least three individual qualifiers would have passed. Homiston, Kraenzel and Goettle have been consistent and throughout the season have shown some brilliant moments. Homiston has qualified for the state in the past two years, but this year will be her first alongside her teammates.
“Chloe has only been playing golf for two years and for her not only to qualify individually for the state, but to be part of a team like this is a great opportunity,” said Spry. “Abby has worked hard the last couple of years, she came from Montana where to qualify for state you had to shoot a 120, so she played extremely well and worked really hard to get there.”
At the WDA Regional Championships last year, Dickinson finished ninth with a team score of 409 – sending just one player to the state. As the ink of the 2021 season dries up in the record books, the Midgets are poised to shock the golfing world with a collective team keen to set a standard for DHS for years to come.
“I am extremely proud of them, they are the ones who have strived to achieve this goal,” said Spry. “We set goals for ourselves before the start of the season and these young women succeeded and achieved those goals… I helped them along the way, but it was their efforts that made us assert.”
Dickinson’s Midgets Scores:
Lola Homiston, 43-40–83
Abigail Goettle, 46-44–90
Chloé Kraenzel, 41-49–90
Kyndall Peterson, 48-50–98
Hazel Emter, 53-45–98
Tristyn Baumgartner, 47-55–102
Top 10 individual rankings:
1. Anna Huettl, Mandan, 76 years old; 2. Aysia Mettler, Mandan, 77 years old; 3. Leah Herbel, Bismarck Century, 78; 4. Hannah Herbel, Bismarck Century, 79; 5. Aliyah Iverson, Bismarck Century, 81; 6. Grace Stroh, Bismarck HS, 82; 7. Lola Homiston, Dickinson, 83; 8. Carrie Carmichael, Williston, 83; 9. Regan Braun, Bismarck Century, 85; 10. Olivia Sorlie, Jamestown, 86 years old
Ranking of the 10 best teams:
1. Bismarck Century, 323; 2. Mandan Braves, 330; 3.Bismarck HS Demons, 360; 4. Dickinson Midgets, 361; 5. Bismarck Legacy Sabers, 361; 6. Williston Coyotes, 364; 7. Minot Magiciens, 373; 8. Jamestown Blue Jays, 373; 9. Bismarck St. Mary’s Saints, 386; 10. Town of Watford, 484