Golf season hits full swing

Iola High's golfers enter the home stretch of the 2024 season with plenty of confidence, placing three in the top 13 of a tournament in Coffeyville Tuesday. The JV golfers also shined at a tournament Monday in Eureka.

Sports

May 2, 2024 - 1:57 PM

Iola High golfers competing in Coffeyville are, from left, Baron Folk, Brennen Coffield, Ethan Harris, Josh Wanker, Christopher Holloway and Xander Sellman. Photo by Jeremy Sellman / IHS

COFFEYVILLE — Iola High is gearing up for what the Mustang golf team hopes will be a prolific end to the 2024 season.

The Mustangs traveled to Coffeyville Tuesday, where they dealt with a soggy course and high winds.

Nevertheless, Iola placed three golfers in the top 13, led by Brennen Coffield’s sixth-place finish, Xander Sellman, who took 10th, and Christopher Holloway in 13th.

Head coach Jeremy Sellman carried high praise for his golfers on a difficult day on the course.

“Watching Brennen today, it was evident he spent some time on his game,” Coach Sellman said. “His swing was good and his confidence was back. He looked good today. He just struggled getting some putts to fall. In fact, that was the problem for pretty much the whole team.”

Xander Sellman counted six putts that lipped out of the hole, Coach Sellman noted.

Holloway’s round may have been the most encouraging, he added.

Iola High’s Madeleine Wanker chips onto the green during a junior varsity tournament at Eureka Monday.Photo by Jeremy Sellman / IHS

“Chris really has his game on point right now,” Sellman said. “He is playing really well and has really turned his game around both physically and mentally.”

Coupled with Baron Folk’s 33rd place finish, Iola’s Mustangs took third as a team.

“Baron has really improved this year,” Sellman said. “His play is helping keep Iola in the hunt for team medals. I tell the boys individual medals are great, but team medals are what coaches strive to see.”

Ethan Harris finished 36th. “He’s really turned it around this week,” Sellman said. “He’s found his swing. Having him and Baron playing well and getting better every day is exciting to see.”

Iola High’s Keira Fawson hits a shot during a junior varsity tournament in Eureka Monday. Photo by Jeremy Sellman / IHS
Iola High’s Bailey Prather hits a shot during a junior varsity tournament Monday. Photo by Jeremy Sellman / IHS
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Sellman noted the league and regional tournaments in the next two weeks are suitable targets for the Mustangs to earn a potential team trophy.

Freshman Josh Wanker, in his first varsity event of his career, took 51st. “Today was a great learning experience for him. Seeing the competition and playing a varsity meet gave him some personal insight as to what he needs moving forward. Josh has the potential to be a great golfer. I’m looking forward to helping him achieve that.”

THE MUSTANG junior varsity golfers, including three girls, traveled to Independence. Briley Prather carded a 64, finishing in 29th.

“Playing the back tees on a tough course puts the girls at a huge disadvantage,” Sellman said. “Briley played really well and I’m super proud of her for always giving her best and pushing herself to compete with the boys.”

Juniors Madeleine Wanker and Keira Fawson carded 77 and 80, respectively, to finish in 38th and 39th place.

Because Iola does not have a bona fide girls team, it means any girl who wants to play must do so in the spring with the boys.

“I’ve tried to get the program going, but having an outside job prevents me from coaching the girls in the fall,” Sellman noted. 

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