Tough competition and senior leadership motivates young golf team

Senior Ethan Pogemiller eyes the green during his approach.

The Bettendorf boys golf team knew this season would be challenging. On top of COVID-19, the Bulldogs lost several key players, and turned to their younger talent to start rebuilding their squad.

However, the Bulldogs couldn’t let this season just slip away from them. With Pleasant Valley being the hardest competition in the state, the Bulldogs found that they had to work harder than ever in order to compete with their rivals.

“There is more pressure to do as best as you can. It definitely motivates us to compete with those guys,” senior Ethan Pogemiller said.

That motivation has been proven especially helpful within the young blood on the team. As first year varsity athletes, freshman Ethan Herring and sophomore Paul Schwartz have found themselves seated number two and three on the roster.

Both Schwartz and Herring have been very consistent throughout the season, averaging 86 and 87, respectively.

Although, as a team, this consistency didn’t come until later in the season. The Bulldogs didn't have a finish over fifth place until the second half of the season, where they placed in the top three at three different meets.

Schwartz attributes this to the team coming together.

“As the year went on we started to adapt to each other so we could grow together as a team. We were able to have more fun together and have a more cohesive experience,” said Schwartz.

This cohesion transformed into one goal: work together to get better. That started with putting in extra work outside of everyday practices in order to achieve the scores they wanted. This effort was driven by the senior leadership on the team.

¨The seniors were good leaders. Some of them worked really hard like Poge [Ethan Pogemiller] and you could see it in his game,¨ Herring said.

Unfortunately, the Bulldogs plans for the postseason were foiled at the district meet. The windy conditions and tough competition made for a challenging cut to be at the state tournament.

Although the Bulldogs didn’t make it into the postseason this year, the younger members of the team have every intention of making it as a team in future years.

“We all know that we could do very well next season if we put in the time. We think about our future and know that if we put in the time and effort now, later in life we aren’t going to regret it,” Schwartz said.


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