Under new head coach Ryan Rennels, the Yukon girls golf squad is looking to build a team culture.
Primarily thought of as an individual sport, Rennels, a former basketball coach and teacher at Union City, hopes his players can find the value of team success within their play.
“I think camaraderie and (being) a team, especially at the high school level, is important,” he said. “Golf is more of an individual sport. In basketball, for instance, you’re running plays or you’re working together on defense. I think, in golf, it’s a lot different in that, it’s on you. Your score is on you.
“But, in practice, I think you want to try to get the girls to a place where they’re comfortable helping each other, coaching each other, because those older players have a lot of experience those younger ones don’t have. That experience, if they’re willing to bond, and get close, and talk about those things, is invaluable.”
Working together as a team will excel the group.
“I think promoting a culture of cohesiveness and of ‘we’re in this together’ regardless of whether you’re varisty or if you’re JV, we’re all trying to get to the same place,” Rennels said. “Our team is going to be better as a whole.”
The Millerettes will have success growing as a team with senior leaders.
Alyssa Wilson and Addison McCosta are college-talent players for Yukon. However, it’s their influence that should take the team far.
“ They’ve both been great leaders for us as far as doing a good job of helping the girls that are newer to the sport out,” Rennels said. “They do a good job of including them, not making them feel like they don’t belong. They’re just good leaders and that’s what you want out of your seniors.”
Wilson recently signed with Oklahoma Christian University to play golf.
“She’s one of the better girls golfers in the state. She’s got a chance to have a heck of a senior year,” Rennels said.
McCosta hasn’t decided on her future, yet Rennels believes chances to play for a school will be abundant.
“She hasn’t signed anywhere yet but I think she’ll have some opportunities to play at the collegiate level,” he said.
Yukon will get their chance to show out against some of the best in the state.
Lake Hefner South will hold the Yukon Tournament. The event is expected to draw a competitive field due to Lake Hefner being the site of the regional tournament.
“That we’re hosting it, I think there’s going to be a lot of really good programs there because of the opportunity to play that course before the playoffs get here,” Rennels said. “That should be a good test for us.”
“We want to go out there and compete and see how high we can place in every tournament we’re in.”
Their first tournament, slated for March 9, will be on the road at Stillwater. This will be the first time in 2019 the Millerettes see the greens.
“It’s early but I think we’ll have a baseline of where we’re at and where we need to improve from there,” Rennels said. “We play qualifying rounds or practice rounds where we can see where we’re at as opposed to going to the driving range and chipping, we’ll play once or twice a week.
“It’s different once the bright lights are on, so to speak, and you go out in front of a crowd and other teams. Just see how we react to that and go from there.”