Youthful, yet seasoned Majettes poised to tee off season

Alex Eisen/MDN Minot High senior Marley Foltz attempts to make a putt Thursday during the Majettes’ last practice at the Vardon Golf Course before their season opener today in Dunseith.

Short game was the focus for the Minot High School girls golf team Thursday, as they played their final round before the season-opening TMCHS Invite.

Paired in three groups of three, the Majettes took to the holes of the Vardon Golf Course from 100 yards out and on the tees for the Par 3’s. Nine golfers competing for the starting six varsity spots.

“We are very young with one senior and one junior,” MHS coach Scott Foltz said. “However, we have a nice nucleus to build around.”

The Majettes return three of their six starters from a season ago, while also bringing in two more players that obtained varsity experience two years ago.

“I would not put it as a rebuild season,” Foltz said. “We have some work to do, but watch us five, six weeks from now and see where we are at.”

Alex Eisen/MDN Natalie Cook chips onto the green Thursday at the Vardon Golf Course in Minot.

The lone senior is Foltz’s daughter, Marley. She finished tied for sixth at the West Region Tournament last season to earn All-Region honors and help the Majettes win their first WDA title since 2010.

“After losing three seniors from last year, all of a sudden, I’m the oldest,” Marley Foltz said. “That has not been the case for my whole golf career. But, I got Becca (Tschetter) and Jaci (Jones) and Joelle (Fettig). The leadership is evenly distributed, I think. Everybody on this team has been golfing since seventh or eighth grade, some even longer. So, we all have lots and lots of experience.”

Sophomores Tschetter and Jones were both were regular starters last year.

Tschetter was the only Minot High golfer besides Paige Argent, who was an All-State selection and the 2016 Senior Athlete of the Year, to win medalist honors by taking first place at the Mandan Invite

“My goals are to make either All-State or All-WDA,” Tschetter said. “I just want to make sure I finish in the Top 10-15 every tournament.”

Jones wrapped up last season with a solid 15th place at the state tournament and carried that momentum into the offseason by winning the 13- to 15-year old girls Dakota Junior Golf Association (DJGA) 2017 Player of the Year and its Applebee’s Cup championship.

Tschetter placed second in both.

“We had a lot of kids put in a lot of time, both competitively and on the practice range,” Scott Foltz said about the work put in over the summer.

Tschetter added: “I think that playing in the summer really helped me and I’m doing pretty good right now because of it.”

Freshman Bella Dobrinski also competed in a few DJGA tournaments and, like Joelle Fettig, she isn’t a completely new face either.

“Being able to bring Joelle and Bella in with some experience is a nice advantage,” Scott Foltz said.

The No. 6 golfer for the first tournament today will be sophomore Camille Cook. It’s a roster spot that could see some rotation throughout the season with the likes of eighth grader Natalie Cook, freshman Sydney Berg and freshman Taryn Trueblood in the mix.

With this group, Scott Foltz has lofty expectations for this year.

“I want to finish in the top two of the West Region and I think it’s legitimate to hope for a top three finish at the state tournament,” he said. “We are going to have to work hard to do that though. St. Mary’s right now is the runaway favorite to win another state title.”

The Saints won the program’s first state championship last season, led by medalist and returning senior Sydney Smith. Minot High placed third, 24 strokes back.

“Last year was a great year,” Marley Foltz said. “It was kind of a Cinderella season for us, and yet we were disappointed with a third place. But, to be disappointed with third place, is kind of incredible. I think it proved to us that we can do whatever we set our minds to.”

That’s the beauty and agony of golf.

“The most talented team on paper doesn’t always win,” Scott Foltz said. “We learned that (last year), both for us when we kept upsetting St. Mary’s throughout the season and then at the state tournament where we finished third and I felt we were a Top 2 team.”

Likewise, Scott Foltz is hoping for a strong start with a Top 2 finish today, as the Class A WDA golf season gets underway at the Garden Gate Golf Course in Dunseith. The TMCHS Invite will begin at 10 a.m.

Alex Eisen covers Minot High School, Minot State athletics and high school sports. Follow him on Twitter @AEisen13.