During the last decade, the Charleston High girls golf team has won eight IHSA Regional Championships, one state title in 2016 and numerous individual and team Apollo Conference titles. The team has twice finished in the top three at state and reached the state tourney six times.
CHS is coming off a state appearance last fall when the Trojans also repeated as the Apollo Conference champions.
Making it back to state, though, might be a challenge.
The team lost two former All-Apollo golfers – runner-up Stacey Zerbst and Taryn Pearson, as well as Ryleigh Babbs. However, senior Madeline Sanders was seventh at the Apollo match and will contend for headlining the team as the No. 1 golfer.
“Making it back to state is definitely going to require a lot of work with losing our seniors from last year, but I think we have a lot of great potential in our upcoming players,” said Sanders. “I am very excited to see how they perform this season.”
Sanders has been a part of some excellent teams. In 2020, Sanders finished among the top four golfers that won both the Apollo Conference and an IHSA Regional Championship. Had there been a state series, the team would have qualified.
Last year, Sanders hovered around second or third on the team scorecard. Knowing that she could be one of the top golfers, she has been making a lot of effort to get out and work on her game.
“I’ve been trying to get out and play a lot this summer, with spending a lot of time on the range, along with the practice greens,” said Sanders. “My goals this season are mainly to solidify my game and always put forward my best, not only for myself but also for my team. Also, I hope to be a good leader and role model this season as one of the seniors.”
Delainey Meister returns as another senior, while the rest of the team roster is not yet set.
“Delaney is a great golfer all around,” said Sanders. “I’m hopeful that we both can put up some good scores for the team. I have high hopes for this upcoming season, and I think as a team we will accomplish great things. I can already see the girls being determined and putting in the work and the golf season is just getting started, so I’m excited, to say the least.”