Senior trio, new coach to lead Panthers

The Monticello girls golf team, first row from left: Drucilla Kramer, Kayla King, Jaelyn Aitchison, Kylee VanDorn, Piper Hansen and Lake Schnoor. Second row: volunteer assistant coach Bret McDonald, Rebekah Prull, Karli Recker, Tori McDonald, Lacie Koppes, Courtney Thies, volunteer assistant coach Allison Ries and head coach Doug Ries. (Photo by Pete Temple)
Pete Temple
Express Sports Editor

     Three seniors, two of whom have state tournament experience, will join new head coach Doug Ries in leading the Monticello High School girls golf team this season.

     The Panthers have 11 girls out for the team, led by seniors Drucilla Kramer, Rebekah Prull and Karli Recker; all of whom have varsity experience.

     Kramer and Prull were part of the Panthers’ State-qualifying team as freshmen, and Kramer qualified for State individually as a sophomore, placing 23rd.

     “The experience the seniors have and their leadership will be the strength of this year’s team,” Ries said. “The team has set goals of winning the (River Valley) Conference and going to State.”

     Others have been stepping up as well, the coach said.

     “Senior Tori McDonald and sophomore Jaelyn Aitchison have been hitting the ball well in practice,” Ries said. “Neither have a lot of meet experience, but both are multi-sport athletes and are used to competition.”

     Nobody was able to compete in 2020, as Iowa’s spring sports season was cancelled due to COVID-19.

     “Missing last year was tough,” Ries said. “They didn’t get to practice or the experience of playing in meets. The girls, especially the seniors, are glad they are getting to play and are excited about the upcoming season.”

     The coach added that the lack of a 2020 season makes it hard to determine the potential strength of opponents, as well.

     “Looking at the scores from two years ago, I would say Tipton and West Branch are the teams to beat in the River Valley,” the coach said. “Area schools that are traditionally tough in 3A (Monticello’s class) are Dubuque Wahlert and Cedar Rapids Xavier, along with Anamosa. It’s hard to know what teams have in the younger classes that could make an impact.”

     Helping Ries will be volunteer assistant coaches Bret McDonald and Allison Ries.



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