STORM LAKE - The drawn-out spring thaw process may have more to do with Storm Lake's golf season than any other factor.
The Tornadoes have been unable to practice outside because of course conditions, and it could play a major part in the success of their season this year.
"The short game will be a factor in our success," Storm Lake coach Steve Berry said. "With the season not allowing us to go out and practice, it's the touch game. If the girls have the short game touch, it's going to make it a lot easier. But we can't practice the little stuff around the green."
Storm Lake returns its top six golfers from a year ago. Seniors Meredith Stille and Lori Sorensen, juniors Beth Soellner and Katie Johnson, and sophomores Jenny Wendt, Lindsey Frederiksen and Tawny Hendriks all return. Freshman Chelsea Anderson could also play on varsity.
"We're going to be more experienced and the girls know what to expect when they go into a meet," Berry said. "In tournaments last year, the girls didn't know what to expect. You could tell them what to expect, but they didn't really know what to expect. They should know this year and be less nervous."
Berry talked about the strength all six of his top players share.
"They can all keep the ball in play," he said. "They're pretty consistent with keeping the ball in the fairway."
Berry discussed the goals for this group of players.
"I'd like to finish in the upper half of the Lakes Conference meet and the season itself," he said. "I'd like to win half of our meets at least and keep the girls interested and let them have some fun."
The concerns heading into the season are obvious.
"We're getting to the point now where we need to get some meets in," Berry said. "We need to get some playing time in on the golf course."