Members of this year’s BPHS boys’ golf team include, from left, Ryan Bergs, John Franck, Justin Stauffacher, Nick Morrison, Cole Haller, Alex Meger, Jake Pingalore and Jasper Bartels.  Missing from photo are Josh Hennes and Dominic Fogarty.
Members of this year’s BPHS boys’ golf team include, from left, Ryan Bergs, John Franck, Justin Stauffacher, Nick Morrison, Cole Haller, Alex Meger, Jake Pingalore and Jasper Bartels. Missing from photo are Josh Hennes and Dominic Fogarty.
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The Belle Plaine High School boys’ and girls’ golf teams have had next to no time outdoors to prepare for the 2017 season and are eager to hit the links. The boys are scheduled to open the competitive season this Saturday at Hayfield, while the girls are not due to open the season April 17 at Jordan, which for a second year in a row will be Belle Plaine’s home course.
Head coach Jerold Stauffacher says the Belle Plaine boys have the potential to move a step up from their second place showing in the Minnesota River Conference last season.
“This year’s team has the potential to be in the  mix for a conference title. We return three players that have three years of varsity experience in Cole Haller, Justin Stauffacher and Jake Pingalore,” Stauffacher said. “We will count on those three to score well for us this year. We will need a couple of guys that have played some varsity in the past to take a step forward and give us some options for scores to choose from.”
The girls’ team will be led   by two-time state-qualifier Ireland Lambrecht, who at the time is still nursing a basketball injury but is expected to play this season. She is a senior.
Other returning varsity players are Caitlin Preusser, Kaitlyn Siegle and Daisy Vinkemeier.  Joining the team this year and looking to make an impact are Lily Vinkemeier, Olivia Schatz and Teresa Wentworth.
“The girls have a mix of experience and inexperience, and the potential of the team will be based off how fast we can improve our newer players,” Stauffacher said.
Belle Plaine finished third among five full teams in the conference last season.