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Sights set on state title for Majettes golf

Jimmy Lafakis/MDN Minot High senior Jaci Jones putts at a practice at Vardon Golf Club on Wednesday. Jones will serve as a team captain for the first time this season.

As the Minot High School girls golf team practiced on Wednesday morning, an air of jubilation reverberated throughout Vardon Golf Club. Teammates laughed and joked with one another while practicing putting.

The morning offered a bit more wind and clouds than a normal August day, but the Majettes were loose and ready to play. Once they begin their first meet at the TMCHS Invite at Garden Gate Golf Course in Dunseith today, the team will shift its focus to business.

“They’re a dedicated bunch,” MHS head coach Scott Foltz said. “They’re not afraid to put in the time. If it’s cold, if it’s hot, they’re playing. They never complain, no matter what kind of practice plan I put together.”

Foltz has immersed himself in the game. His passion for competition has not wavered over the last few decades.

“I love to arrange the team in such a way that we can compete with other squads in the West (Region),” Foltz said. “It just doesn’t lose its excitement. Take your chess pieces and try and arrange them to defeat the competition. I’m just looking forward to seeing where we will find our ceiling with this team.”

Jimmy Lafakis/MDN Head coach Scott Foltz speaks to the Minot High girls golf team. The Majettes will travel to Garden Gate Golf Course in Dunseith for their first meet today.

After finishing behind Bismarck Century in the state tournament last season, Foltz elected seniors Jaci Jones and Becca Tschetter as team co-captains.

They are shooting for a state title. The Majettes last won the team state championship in 2009.

“I think we’ve got two outstanding leaders,” he said. “They are excellent captains and are two kids we’re going to count on every tournament this year. We’re going to need them to shoot low scores for us. We’ll have four other kids to try and find that third and fourth scorer from.”

The four golfers rounding out the opening lineup include juniors Sydney Berg, Isabella Dobrinski and Savanah Brintnell, who joins from Bishop Ryan. Sophomore Addison Sorenson is the only underclassman in the starting rotation.

Tschetter committed to play collegiate golf at Grand Canyon University (Division I) last weekend. She has learned many of the game’s important facets over the years, none more crucial than her consistency.

“Consistency is key in golf,” Tschetter said. “It’s the hardest sport to get consistent at. You just have to know how to play, what shots you can hit and where you can score from.”

Jones has been playing golf since she was six years old. All those years ago, her grandfather taught her how to play her favorite sport.

“I’ve never known anything different,” Jones said. “During the summer, just going out to the course and practicing all day long. Golf has run in my family for a long time and it’s something I really love to do.”

The team’s nucleus is intact. The Majettes know team chemistry is vital for optimal success.

“We’re all really close,” Jones said. “We get along all the time. There’s nothing we can do to change those bad holes, so we just forget about it. That’s what we do to bond.”

Part of that team bonding involves playing hundreds of holes together over the summers. If Tschetter sees her teammates growing their games, she gathers them together for a few rounds.

Because the Minot program continues to build, she also encourages local parents to tell their daughters to play golf.

“I try to be that helping hand to all the girls,” she said. “I want all the girls to feel comfortable coming to me. I want them to keep at it. I want them to have some of the same goals that I do, just to take golf by storm and lead other girls to the sport.”

Over the years, Foltz has coined an encouraging phrase for his team. He does not believe he copied anybody, and if he did, it wasn’t intentional.

“The one thing you’ll always hear me say out here is, ‘You’re a chip and a putt away from a good score,'” Foltz said.

He quips it so often, his daughter Marley even got it printed on a coffee cup as a Christmas present.

Those chips and putts can lead to more birdie opportunities. Foltz knows the team has played extra hours over the summer, and the head coach has already noticed improvement in the players’ approach shots and putts.

“In the past 10 years, we’ve placed a lot at state,” Tschetter said. “We want to keep that rolling. I think this year, we have a really good chance at that.”

Jones echoed her co-captain’s sentiments.

“If we just keep our heads in the game, we could get that state title,” Jones said. “It’s always been my dream.”

Jimmy Lafakis covers Minot High School sports and Class B high school sports. Follow him on Twitter @JJLII30.

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