Girls’ Golf Team prepares for fifth state title

Anjali Aralikar, student life beat lead

Which sport at Edina High School has 14 clubs and a four-year winning streak? The Girls’ Golf Team, who kicked off their 2019 spring season on April 3 with tryouts. As one of the most dominant teams in the state, the team is eagerly looking forward to recapturing the state title.

This season’s captains are eager to lead their team to success. Senior Dasha Parker has been golfing since she was five years old, and to her, being a captain is all about inclusion. “It means making sure every person feels like they’re contributing and being a part of the team,” Parker said. This season, she wants to make sure everyone is working hard while still enjoying the game.

Senior captain Kendall Olsen joined the team in eighth grade. Her role is not something she takes lightly, noting that she“know[s] what it was like being younger and looking up to captains.” She is excited to be a role model for the next generation of Edina golfers.

The team is constantly under a lot of pressure. “There’s a lot of other districts that look to us because we won state the last four years in a row,” Parker said. Because of this pressure, Parker does not believe the team’s main goal is winning another title. “Our main goal is enjoying the season while it lasts and making sure that we remember who we are and why we’re playing golf rather than focusing on winning,” she said. Parker believes the winning mindset is stressful and keeps players from performing their best on the golf course.

Playing as a team is a crucial area of improvement for the team. Although golf is mainly an individual sport, everyone’s individual scores contribute to an overall team score. Olsen believes one of last season’s mistakes involved focusing on the individual aspect of golf. “People got into their heads and tried to win on their own and not as a team,” Olsen said.

To remedy this, the captains encourage the team to play as late coach Ann Dickey, who died of cancer in 2017, would have wanted them to play, with a focus on the team aspect of the game. “She inspired us to play with a positive mindset and to grow as people not just as golfers,” Parker said. With this mindset, the captains hope to make the team inclusive and enjoyable to all new and returning members. Obviously, they envision winning their fifth state title, but they also believe the road to the championship will be paved with good memories and experiences.