Even though Mexico varsity girls golf coach Lindsey Yancey is well aware of the talent she lost to graduation, that's not what she and her team are focusing on.
Instead this program is choosing to focus on what it does have, a role headlined by senior and two-time sectional qualifier Emma Chedwick.
"The golf team graduated three seniors last year, Brooke Ransom, Raegan Samm and Elizabeth Kasubke. They all three had multiple years of varsity experience and Raegan was a three time Sectional qualifier," said Yancey. "I have a couple key returners this year, including All-State Sophomore Kylah Gore. Kylah Gore will continue to lead the team. She had a really outstanding freshman season and this far into our season it looks like she is ready for another great year."
Because Chedwick is a four-year varsity player who's served in a leadership role the past three years, it will be through her experience that she sets the example for the rest of this team. These lessons will be especially key for Lilly Knipfel because out of the three athletes who are new to the program for the Lady Bulldogs, she's the only one who appears primed to spend some time on the varsity courts.
"Lilly Knipfel will be another leader on varsity. As a freshman she's already shown a great level of experience. I expect she'll be one of the dominant golfers in our area," Yancey said. "We're always working to improve. This year we have a pretty experienced team with lots of upperclassmen, so our JV will continue to work to learn from the experience we have. Each player knows her personal best score and has an idea of what they struggle with so their practice plan is focused on their weakness."
Last season at Class 1, District 5, Mexico finished second with a score of 395, placing them behind Macon at 375, but ahead of Harrisburg at 428, Moberly clocked in at 431 and Palmyra was fifth with 442. The squad then finished fourth at Sectionals with a score of 408 as Chedwick was tied for 20th with Harrisburg's Saige Bexten at plus-31, Raegan Samm charted a plus-34 to place 25th and Elizabeth Kasubke was one stroke back in 26th at plus-35. Brooke Ransom was also 30th with plus-40 for Mexico.
"Golf is such an individual sport, so we all have strengths and weaknesses," said Yancey. "I would think that Kirksville is the team to beat for us in the conference. They had a talented freshman last year who did well. I didn't lose any players other than those who graduated."