A recent college graduate, Lauren Krisher got her first teaching job when she was hired by Riverside this past spring. Shortly thereafter, she got her second assignment: Head coach of the Pirate girls golf team.
The Riverside girls golf team consists of five players, four of whom never played even one round of competitive golf, so Krisher has spent her very limited practice time working on the very basics of the game that Mark Twain called “a good walk spoiled.” Basics such as which tees to play, club selection, golf course etiquette and a million other things one needs to know just to play nine holes. Krisher is therefore keeping the pressure light on the players, knowing how frustrating the game can be even when played for recreation.
“My personal challenge is that I want everyone to have fun and not get discouraged,” Krisher said. “Considering this is my first year as a coach and a majority of the girls have not played before, our team goal is to learn from each other and to be open to suggestions from our teammates and to not get discouraged when we don’t have the best days.”
Dana Jones is a freshman and the only player on Krisher’s team with any experience on the links. But the other four all have varsity backgrounds in other sports, notably seniors Abby Proffitt, who is a two-time all-NWCC outfielder for the Pirate softball team, and Emily Teague, who is also running cross country for Riverside this fall. Senior Jasmine Bryant and sophomore Kirsten Severt both play basketball, so Krisher has the athletes, now she just has to get them putting in the same direction.
“All of the girls have the potential to become better golfers,” Krisher continued, remarking that the players’ inexperience has not dampened their spirits or enthusiasm. “The girls seem to always have a great attitude, whether at practice or at a match, their spirits are always high.”
Not all schools in the Northwest Central Conference offer girls golf, so there is no official league title, but the Pirates do play NWCC-rival Waynesfield-Goshen twice and will get a chance to play established programs and cross-county opponents such as Benjamin Logan and Bellefontaine this fall.
Riverside was scheduled to visit Waynesfield-Goshen at Prairie View G.C., Tuesday, Sept. 1, then host the Tigers exactly one week later at Cherokee Hills G.C. on Sept. 8.
Tom Stephens is a regular contributor to this newspaper.