A glance at the banners inside the Aberdeen Christian School Gym will show that the boys’ golf team has been the most successful program in the school’s short history.
The Knights have won a pair of Class B state championships and also had an individual state champion.
While most of the components of those years are gone, there is still one key piece remaining and he will be counted on to help lead a young squad this spring.
“I know Jett (Becker) has been a big part of a couple of the banners,” said Christian Coach David Rohrbach.
He along with fellow senior Zeke Becker will be counted on to help bring the younger members along.
“We have four other guys who are young and fairly new to the sport. We definitely have done a lot of stuff kind of from the ground up,” Rohrbach said.
The young guys are just getting adjusted to the sport, so Rohrbach said the Beckers will play a key role from helping with technique to the mental aspect of the game.
“I think the younger guys will look up to them for sure. Some of them will be going to the first meets in their life,” Rohrbach said. “The seniors will definitely be instrumental in helping the younger guys feel comfortable and just finding their footing. The mental aspect is huge in golf, just learning to bounce back and not let a couple of shots or a couple of holes totally destroy your round. It will be really big to learn from the other guys.”
Rohrbach, who is also the head coach for boys’ basketball and track and field at Aberdeen Christian, said golf is a unique sport in that you have to problem solve without much help from others.
“It’s very mental. You can sometimes feel like you’re almost on an island, that you don’t have neccessarily a team to fall back on like in basketball,” he said. “If you’re not hitting your shots well, you have to find a way to figure it out. It’s just the next shot mentality you preach in every sport whether it’s basketball or tennis, whatever. Next play, next play, next play. At the end day it just takes some mental adjustments, some mental fortitude and have the next shot mentality.”
Rohrbach knows that in order to have a solid team score (which in Class B includes three golfers), the Knights will have to rely on an unexperienced member of the squad. However, he is not going to put any added stress on any of the newcomers.
“For some of the younger guys we won’t put any pressure on them in the sense of just trying to get them better. We just want them to learn to enjoy the game. To see them have success,” Rohrbach said. “You can kind of see the difference on their face as they even get better in practice, hitting better golf shots in practice.”
Of course, the goal is the opposite for someone like Jett Becker.
“For Jett, his goals are different. He wants to place at state,” Rohrbach said. “He’s obviously a very good golfer and he’s been at state multiple times.”
Take a group of golfers, throw in a year off because of the pandemic, and it’s hard to tell exactly what might happen this spring.
“For some of these kids it took out a lot of their practice time,” Rohrbach said. “Hopefully, they got on the course in the summer on their own. It definitely took a large chunk out of them getting better individually and for us kind of developing some younger people as well.”
The one certain thing the pandemic has produced is a longing to get back on the course and the return to competition.
“It will be a fun year,” Rohrbach said. “Again at the end of the day, you’re just happy that you get to compete.”
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