Like every other program in the state, the St. Edmond boys golf team has been forced indoors for preseason training sessions this spring.
Thanks to a dedicated crew of players over the summer months, Gael head coach Dan Streit enters 2013 knowing what to expect.
Eddie Doyle, Michael Faiferlick, David Flattery, Cal Coleman and Derreck Ressler all saw ample varsity action a year ago, and return to the links this spring with an added sense of competitiveness.
"We were a young squad a year ago, and we took some lumps because of it," Streit said. "Now the kids know what the expect and have seen many of the different courses that our schedule offers.
"We've been using both Golf Central and the Softball Connection with the inclement weather, but the experiences these kids gained playing over the summer will be very important to our success."
Doyle anchored the unit last year before faring well in local tournaments over the summer. The junior had strong showings in both the City Golf Tournament and Fort Dodge Amateur, as did Faiferlick in the city event.
2013 GAEL BOYS GOLF
Senior - Noah Lindner, Colten Lastine, Connor Dougall, Jordan Slotten, Casey Halligan, Zach Benjamin, Derreck Ressler, David Flattery.
Junior - Eddie Doyle, Brady Reiling, Josh Lee, Paul Gopintoch, Adam Willerth, John Williams, Cody Halligan, Cal Coleman.
Sophomores - Brady Axness, Thomas Schumach, Halen Burke, Michael Faiferlick, Keaton Burns.
Freshmen - John Woodruff, Nick Doyle, Jack Kersten, Weston Dayton, Harrison Mayer, Conley Messerly, Robert Flattery, Reid Johnson.
April 9 - at Bishop Garrigan; 12 - Iowa Falls-Alden; 15 - Greene County; 19 - Hampton-Dumont; 22 - at South Hamilton; 23 - at Clarion-Goldfield; 24 - host CYO Tournament; 26 - at Clear Lake; 30 - Humboldt, Eagle Grove.
May 4 - at Hampton-Dumont Invitational; 6 - at NCC meet in Webster City; 7 - at Webster City Invitational; 10 - at 2A sectional meet in Carroll.
"I think that we can be more consistent this year just because of the experience the kids gained (last year)," Streit said. "They took it on themselves to get a lot of practice in and play several different courses around the area."
Streit also pointed to a handful of youngsters as potential varsity contributors, including junior Brady Reiling, sophomore Halen Burke and freshmen Robert Flattery, Harrison Mayer and Conley Messerly.
Along with a challenging non-league schedule, competing in the North Central Conference will provide St. Edmond with the opportunity to see several of the elite teams in the state.
"Top-to-bottom, the NCC is always very, very strong," Streit said. "Bishop Garrigan won the (Class) 1A title last year, Clear Lake finished second in 3A and Humboldt was third in 3A.
"Playing tough teams, though, will only make us tougher and I feel like we can compete with anybody out there."
The Gaels will travel to Carroll and the Carroll Golf and Country Club on May 10 for a 2A sectional meet. Joining St. Edmond will be East Sac County, IKM-Manning, Carroll Kuemper, Manson Northwest Webster, OA-BCIG, Prairie Valley and South Central Calhoun.
Districts are slated for the following week at Storm Lake's Lake Creek Country Club.
St. Edmond is scheduled to open its regular season, weather permitting, at Garrigan on Tuesday.