Callan Haldorsen peaked at the right time.
Haldorsen finished as an All-Apollo golfer last year after taking sixth, but then she finished second in the IHSA Regionals, earning a spot in sectionals. Haldorsen’s score of 81 was the second-best qualifying individual score at the Springfield Regional, behind only ex-teammate Kira Wolf.
Now, Haldorsen pushes forward as the No. 1 golfer on the team as Wolf heads to play for the University of Minnesota.
“She was the main person who carried us,” said Haldorsen. “She’d win a tournament or win a regional. Last year, I started off not doing too bad and Kira was definitely a confidence booster. She’d give me tips at practice and tournaments. As a team, my major concern is us having fun, but we took a huge loss with Kira graduating.”
Haldorsen nearly matched her sectional score Thursday evening, firing a 7-over 81 on the University of Illinois blue course in a dual match with Champaign Central. Haldorsen tied for low score with Central’s Cassie To.
The Green Wave, though, could not keep pace with Central, losing 358-398. Piper Sanders shot 103 for MHS, followed by Xylie Greeson (106) and Julia Morton (108). Other Mattoon scores: Berit Haldorsen 115, Kenzie Bratton 124.
Haldorsen and teammate Mackenzie Bratton, who also qualified for the Sectional, are looking to build back the program’s numbers and place better as a team.
“This year, we are trying to get our numbers back up and get more freshmen to play,” Haldorsen told Kyle Daubs several week ago. “This year could be a lot more fun if we can place ourselves as a team.”
As a team, Mattoon’s girls placed third at the Apollo Conference. Haldorsen is hoping to repeat as an All-Apollo selection.
“Definitely top 3,” said Haldorsen. “At Regionals, I was one stroke away from the girl who was second in conference and that really boosted my confidence. This year, I am going to try and get in the top third.”
In the postseason, the Lady Wave were on the vast outskirts of moving on to the sectional as a team. Mattoon placed fourth at the regional, but were 46 strokes behind third place finisher Chatham-Glenwood in Class 2A.
Going into this season, especially with uncertainty of having a postseason, Haldorsen knows that moving on as a team would be a steep goal. However, individually, she wants to compete in that state meet as she enters her final year of high school golf.
“I’m a senior and I still haven’t made it to state yet,” said Haldorsen. “That’s my main goal going into this golf season. I had to keep telling myself that there was a chance we would still have a season and make sure I was on top of my game. It was something to just keep myself motivated.”
At one point, the fall sports season looked obsolete; however, the IHSA announced that golf, girls tennis, cross country, and girls swimming will continue as planned. This decision concluded a rollercoaster of emotions that dated back to March, a time where golf courses were shut down.
“At the beginning of the year when I heard there was a chance golf might get cancelled, I was really upset since this is my senior year,” said Haldorsen. “I just want to play golf. I kept practicing because I didn’t want to be blindsided if the IHSA announced we would have a season. To have golf this year, my family and I are pretty excited to have my senior year.”
However, there are some concerns about moving forward.
“My only worry is that we are going to get halfway through the season and all of a sudden, we have to shut down because school shut down,” said Haldorsen. “I’m afraid we are going to have our season end in the middle of it.”