LISLE – The dynasty starts here.
Six years ago, Lisle’s girls golf team consisted of one player playing matches with the boys’ JV team. Now the Lions boast a full squad of 13 players and are coming off an Interstate Eight Conference championship in 2012.
Lisle will be a young team again this fall, and juniors Melanie Beidelman and Mary Sullivan are the leaders of a squad whose motto is “Building the Dynasty.”
“We’re building our dynasty,” Sullivan said. “We won conference last year and we’re hoping to repeat that. Last year I placed fifth at conference and hopefully I place higher this year, and I’m thinking that’s everyone else’s goal too.”
“We keep telling the younger people on our team winning conference is what we want to do, and so we take them to courses we’re going to play and teach them about the little things that will help them there,” Beidelman said.
The goal of repeating as conference champs and performing well in the postseason is already underway. As a team, the Lions have been playing and practicing at River Bend, their home course, for much of the summer. Beidelman has been getting even more rounds in.
“I’ve been playing a lot, Tuesdays and Thursdays this summer, and I do play once a week with my dad and some of his friends,” Beidelman said.
Sullivan said she also plays with her father at River Bend or Settler’s Hill in Batavia. The extra work, particularly on chipping and putting, has paid off for Sullivan and Beidelman. Sullivan said she has dropped five strokes per year from her score since her freshman year, while Beidelman said her nine-hole average has gone from a 63 as a freshman to a 55 now.
As captains, Sullivan and Beidelman will be the unquestioned leaders when Lisle’s season tees off Aug. 20 at the Plainfield North Tournament. The summer has been valuable as they adjust to their new roles.
“It’s a huge responsibility, and I think me and Mary are approaching it pretty well,” Beidelman said. “We try and communicate with everyone, try help them if they need advice and we try to be there for them every single day we have golf.”
“Obviously the big goal is for everyone to do their best,” Sullivan said. “For the girls that just started playing, don’t put too much stress on them and try to help them out. Since the beginning of the summer lots of their scores have gone down, so they’re doing a good job.”