By Kyle Daubs
How great is it to be Deb Landsaw these days?
Retired, golfing and state champion coach has a nice ring to it.
The former Charleston girls golf coach pioneered one of the greatest dynasty runs in Coles County history. In a 10-year span, Landsaw’s teams won seven straight regional championships and one sectional championship, earned five straight state appearances, garnered two top-3 finishes at state, and captured a state championship in 2016.
Mattoon, meanwhile, boasted two sisters who were among the best golf prospects in the state.
Our All-Decade Girls Golf team features three NCAA Division I golfers and five college athletes.
No. 1: Lauren Chappell: CHS Class of 2017: When Lauren’s father, Rand, moved the family to town after taking an assistant basketball position at EIU, few people knew the new girl on the block. After Chappell (above) won the individual state championship as a freshman, that changed. Chappell eventually won the individual state title three times and was the leader in CHS’s run in claiming the state title in 2016. Chappell was a four-time Regional and Apollo Conference Champion. On the junior circuit, Chappell qualified for the 2016 U.S. Junior Girls, recorded three AJGA top-5 and seven top-10 finishes, and placed fourth in the 2014 North and South Championship. In 2016, Chappell won the Illinois State Amateur Championship. Chappell is playing golf at Southern Methodist University, where she ranks 15th all-time in career par-or-better rounds.
No. 2: Kira Wolf: MHS Class of 2020: Wolf was a four-time state tournament qualifier as an individual, finishing in the top-25 (All-State) each time. As a freshman, Wolf placed sixth overall. On the Mid-American Golf Tour circuit, Wolf earned eight top-10 finishes, including medalist honors at the 2017 MAJGT University of Illinois Open and seventh at the MAJGT Donald Ross Classic in 2019. Wolf now plays at the University of Minnesota.
No. 3: Tiffany Wolf: MHS Class of 2011: The older of the Wolf sisters helped lead Mattoon to one of its best seasons along with Ashley Warrem (below). Wolf joined the golf team as a junior and senior. As a junior, Wolf qualified for state, but her senior year was remarkable. In 2010, Wolf was the individual runner-up in the Big 12 Conference, while the Green Wave clinched their only conference championship in school history. Wolf followed that up by winning both the Regional and Sectional individual championships. She finished her season by placing 21st to earn All-State honors. Wolf continued her college career at Eastern Illinois University, after graduating high school summa cum laude.
No. 4: Allyson O’Dell: CHS Class of 2017: O’Dell was a four-year starter and an integral part of helping CHS win state and go undefeated during the regular season. O’Dell was the team’s No. 2 golfer during the team’s state runs. When the team brought home a third-place trophy in 2015, O’Dell placed 28th overall. O’Dell was also a standout in basketball and softball.
No. 5: Maddy Burgett: CHS Class of 2013: Before Burgett qualified for state in 2011 and 2012, Charleston had been on a 14-year drought of representation. In 2011, Burgett finished 47th overall as a junior. She followed that up by placing 37th overall her senior season. Burgett later played for Rend Lake College and Eastern Illinois University.
No. 6: Ashley Warrem: MHS Class of 2011: Warrem grinded out nearly every successful season on the golf team. Warrem was a multi-All-Big 12 selection. Her senior year, she was one of two individual qualifiers for state.
Apologies: Morgan Sherwood: CHS Class of 2016: Sherwood finished her career as a four-sport athlete and played college basketball at Southern Indiana University. Outside of volleyball, basketball, and track, Sherwood was a pretty solid golfer. Sherwood was a multi-All-Apollo selection and was the consistent No. 2 or 3 golfer for teams that qualified for state in 2013, 2014 and 2015, when the team took third.