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Preview: New Life Academy girls' golf focuses on making improvements

With three returning golfers, New Life Academy will look for steady improvement coming off a last-place season in its conference.

Only sophomore Claire Wallerick lettered last season among the veteran Eagles golfers. Senior Lailah Kuhne and sophomore Anna Bettmann both competed in just one varsity meet last spring.

In addition, New Life Academy has novice golfers throughout the rest of the 12-girl roster. Experience in the lineup took a hit when three letter-winners opted for other activities instead of golf this spring. The Eagles also lost Abby Gorter and Isabelle Lindahl to graduation.

"With another new cast of golfers this year, I am again focusing on teaching them the game and improvements throughout the year," Eagles coach Greg Tietz said. "Small accomplishments that happen from practice to practice."

NLA will get to make in-meet improvements too, starting with its opener at 4 p.m. Tuesday, April 11, at Bluff Creek Golf Course in Chaska. The Eagles will get a couple of home meets April 25 and 27 at Eagle Valley Golf in Woodbury.

New Life Academy's conference, the Minnesota Christian Athletic Association, will likely have loads of talent. The MCAA had three of the top five golfers at the Class 1A state tournament last season, and none of them were seniors. But competition may not pose the biggest challenge for the Eagles this spring.

"I think the biggest thing that these ladies have to deal with is the mental part of golf," Tietz said. "It can be a frustrating game and not go the way you want. Kind of sounds a lot like our lives sometimes."