The Rogersville High School golf team has qualified for state in each of the last two seasons.
And now, the only two players back from those teams are trying to lead the Wildcats back.
It will be a bit of an uphill climb for Rogersville to get through Monday’s Class 3 sectional and advance to state, which is May 13-14 in Sedalia.
“It’ll be tough for us, but there’s always a chance for it,” Rogersville coach Brett Palen said. “For us to move on to state this year, I think everybody on our team has to shoot three shots better than our season average, because our season average is just not good enough. We need to shoot about 12 shots better as a team.”
Most Springfield-area golfers are going to have to travel for sectionals before returning to town for state. Class 1 state is in Bolivar, Class 2 is at Fremont Hills and Class 4 is at Springfield’s Rivercut Golf Course. Class 3 is the only out-of-area site.
Rogersville is playing another familiar local course for Monday’s sectional. After playing at Silo Ridge in Bolivar in Monday’s district, the sectional is in Marshfield.
Junior Alec Palen, who committed to the University of Missouri golf program in January, said that familiarity could help. He’s played a few junior tournaments in Marshfield over the years.
At state, though, an unfamiliar course looms in Sedalia.
“With those kinds of courses, I do a lot of traveling, and you just have to adapt and do what you do best,” Palen said. “You can’t really worry about the course, because if you do, then you’ve got a whole bunch of other problems.”
Palen can rely on his previous solid state finishes. As a freshman, he took eighth after a second-day 71. As a sophomore, he was fourth.
Both times at state, he’s been joined by classmate Rob Mahaffey. Mahaffey said he has not been pleased with his game so far this spring.
A solid finish at state, however, could change the whole narrative of the season.
“I know that whenever it comes down to state, I won’t be the kid getting nervous this year, because I’ve been there before,” he said. “I just hope to have a chance in day two at state.”