The Dodge City Red Demons girls golf team is sending six golfers to the Kansas 6A State tournament.
They won’t have to go very far. In fact, they’ll have to go the exact same distance as they normally do for practice.
Dodge City’s Mariah Hills Golf Course will be home to the event this season. But as the plans come together for how to accommodate a total of 92 golfers, the Red Demons’ golfers themselves continued to prepare through Thursday afternoon.
The event is scheduled to start at 9 a.m. on Monday.
The six Red Demons going include three seniors: Chesney Moore, Nicole Hall and Madelyn Wright, two juniors in Breanna Galindo and Olivia Gregg, and one sophomore: Ella Friess.
Before Thursday’s practice, head coach Jim Mapel said the team is playing strong.
“Right now I’d say we’re at the peak of our talent, because we’ve been practicing two months and competing two months,” Mapel said. “They’ve had a good week of practice and they’re excited. They’re real excited about having it here at home.”
Mapel said the event will be great for everyone involved, and that it’s great to have the entire team be able to compete.
The event will draw a large crowd, and a great atmosphere, Mapel said. It will also cause some nerves for the girls, even though the course itself is in great shape.
“It’s gonna be cool,” Mapel said. “It’s gonna be fun.”
Many of the players on the team came with little or no golf experience, including the team’s seniors.
Nicole Hall, for instance, started golfing in August.
“She has progressed so much, it’s really impressive,” Mapel said. “You feel good for the kids when they do that.”
Seeing the seniors leave is, of course, bittersweet.
“I’m glad they all get to play on Monday,” Mapel said.
Mapel has been one of the event’s organizers. On Monday, the size of the task that is the state tournament will necessitate help by a small army of people, from high-level Dodge City High School administration, to other adults and even students.
“There’s just a lot involved in running a tournament of this size,” Mapel said. “It’s just going to be good for Dodge City.”
The task of helping organize it has required innumerable hours of work from Mapel. That doesn’t, however, mean he has minded.
“For me it’s a labor of love,” Mapel said. “We put in for it because we wanted to do this. It’s not like they said ‘You have to host the state tournament.’ We volunteered and so this is pretty cool.”