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Kendra Swanson

Beaver Dam's Kendra Swanson qualified for the WIAA state tournament last year and was one of five seniors on varsity for the Golden Beavers, who now must reboot the lineup as they join up with Wayland Academy in the first year of a new co-op. 

With the entire varsity lineup from 2018 having graduated, it’s an all-new start for the Beaver Dam prep girls golf team in 2019.

In more ways than one.

“The big news with this year’s golf team is we’re co-opping with Wayland,” coach Tim Chase said of bringing the Big Red into the fold.

“It’s exciting in that way. It’s kind of like we’re starting from the bottom and building up.”

The new Beaver Dam/Wayland co-op kicked off the season Thursday against Waunakee, losing 166-278 at The Meadows of Six Mile Creek in Waunakee to a Warriors team that is the favorite to win the Badger North Conference title.

Junior Maty Wilke’s 24-over-par 60 paced BD/W, which has yet to receive an influx of Wayland players. Chase expects three or four Big Red girls to join the team this week or next when they arrive at Wayland, a boarding school.

Beaver Dam/Wayland will be inexperienced and for the most part young this year, but one very promising thing is that there are expected to be about 16 or 17 kids on the team — almost triple the six that were out last year.

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“We’ve got some more kids interested, going out and giving golf a try,” Chase said. “And a lot of freshman and sophomores too, so a lot of potential for the future.”

The underclassmen from Beaver Dam who are out for the team are freshmen Ellen Poels and Bella Oestreicher and sophomores Peyton Wietzke, Taylor Schaefer, Alaynah Smith and Bri DiStefano.

“It’s good to see those younger kids coming out because they will improve a lot the older and older they get, once they start learning to play the game a little bit,” Chase said.

Beaver Dam/Wayland will now take an extended break from competition, with a Badger North match against Mount Horeb on Sept. 4 at Old Hickory the next date on the schedule.

That will give the team a little time to make some improvement while also onboarding the Wayland players before teeing it up again.

“Right now, we’re still trying to find ourselves,” Chase said. “Everyone’s kind of in a spot where they’re still trying to learn the game.”

Follow Dan on Twitter @Danny_Larson_8 or contact him at 920-356-6753.

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