Walking around Conquistador Golf Course with members of her team, Dolores High School golf coach Monica Plewe cannot help but be excited about the upcoming high school girls golf season.
Unlike previous years in which the Dolores roster has been dotted with newcomers that lacked experience, this year’s team features numerous players with refined swings and two players with state tournament experience.
The majority of the team’s players have been practicing indoors since the beginning of the new year, and as snow has melted and the ground has dried, Monica Plewe and her promising team have started to venture outside.
“I am so excited for this year,” the Dolores coach said. “I feel like these (girls) have a real shot at qualifying at regionals for state as a team instead of just individuals, which would be fabulous.”
Among the team’s top returning players will be Montezuma-Cortez High School junior Dimery Plewe, who qualified for the Class 3A State Tournament last season and finished 23rd overall. After stringing together several strong rounds during early season practices, the junior is excited for what is in store for the upcoming season.
“I definitely want to make it back to state and get a good place there,” Dimery Plewe said. “I want to go out and win some tournaments. I’ve definitely improved on my iron play. I could always hit the ball pretty far, but hopefully, now with my irons, I’ll be able to get on the green more.”
Joining Plewe as a returning state qualifier will be Dove Creek High School junior Kiara Lingenfelter, who finished 36th overall in the Class 3A State Tournament last season. Senior Kailey Case has also been looking strong after narrowly missing out on qualifying for state last season.
“I’m just going to work on basic technique, stroking the ball, hitting a pure shot,” Case said. “My close game and my putting need some work.”
Other players who figure to make major contributions for Dolores include M-CHS juniors Kali Partington and Sarah McDonald and Dolores High School junior Lillian Montoya, who began playing golf earlier this year.
According to Partington, a strength of this year’s team will lie in the camaraderie between the team’s players, who have known one another for several years and have forged close bonds on and off the course.
“We’re all really close,” Partington said. “We have known each other for a while. We’re friends off and on the golf course and coming to practice is like coming to hang out with friends. We’re like a family.”
While snowy weather has made it difficult for the team to practice outdoors, the addition of Greenside Sports to the Cortez community, which features indoor golfing opportunities, has helped prepare the Dolores team for this season.
“I have to give a huge thank you to the Cortez Youth Golf Course Coalition. They’ve funded our girls to practice at Micah (Rudosky’s) brand new indoor facility,” Monica Plewe explained. “Our players already have their swing going, as well as their touch on their chips and their short game.”
Dolores will play its first tournament at Black Canyon Golf Course in Montrose on April 2 and will host a tournament at Conquistador on April 23.