Moreland leads the charge for Lady Bulldogs.
The roster number is not large.
In fact, the Rolla High School girls’ golf squad will have to hope the flu doesn’t go around the squad on match day, because there is only a half-dozen of them available.
However, RHS coach Zach Nixon feels the players he does have could have a strong 2014 campaign.
The Lady Bulldogs are scheduled to open their season on Wednesday at Old Kinderhook Golf Resort in the Camdenton Invitational (9 a.m.).
Of the six players on the roster, three are returning varsity lettermen, and the other three show much promise according to their coach.
“I think it will be the most competitive team that we’ve had in several years,” Nixon said.
Nixon said all of his returning players competed in the Ken Lanning Junior Golf Tournament a couple of weeks ago at Rolla’s Oak Meadow Country Club, and all shot better than their average from a year ago.
“It’s a really small team, but the good news is we have had some real focused practices because we’re so small,” Nixon said. “The girls have impeccable work ethic.
“Kelsey has done a ton of work.”
That would be the leader of the squad, senior Kelsey Moreland.
Moreland was a sectional tournament qualifier a year ago, just missing the Missouri Class 2 State Meet.
Since then Moreland captured the girls’ age 16-18 points title in the Southwest Missouri Junior golf Association (SMJGA) Tour.
“She was the points leader from (SMJGA) and has dropped her average from last year by about 15 strokes,” Nixon said of Moreland.
Other returning varsity lettermen for the Lady Bulldogs are senior Delaney Lawson and junior Andie Sapaugh. Sapaugh also played in several SMJGA events over the summer.
Rounding out the RHS squad are juniors Hannah Blakely and Briana Isaakson and freshman Sophie Gesualdi.
Nixon said the Lady Bulldogs are following the example set by Moreland.
“Kelsey leads the team,” Nixon said. “She is serious and competitive; the other girls picked up on that.
“I will most definitely be surprised if she doesn’t (qualify for the state tournament). In the past if a kid can shoot in the low-90s they can go to state. This week, except for one bad hole, Kelsey was even-par. She is capable of shooting in the 70s.”
LADY BULLDOG NOTES: The Lady Bulldogs have two home meets scheduled for Oak Meadow Country Club this season - both against Jefferson City Helias - on Sept. 10 and Sept. 17.
Rolla is in Missouri Class 2 District 2 this season, which also includes Eureka, Lafayette Wildwood, Marquette, Northwest Cedar Hill, Parkway South, Parkway West, Rockwood Summit, Visitation and Westminster Christian Academy.
The Rolla girls' golf schedule:
Aug. 27...Camdenton Invitational, 9 a.m.
Sept. 3...Jeff. City Helias Crusader Classic, 8:30 a.m.
Sept. 9...at Camdenton, 4 p.m.
Sept. 10...Jefferson City Helias, 4 p.m.
Sept. 11...at Waynesville, 4 p.m.
Sept. 15...Sedalia Classic, 10 a.m.
Sept. 17...Jefferson City Helias, 4 p.m.
Sept. 18...Missouri State Relays at Springfield, 8:30 a.m.
Sept. 22...Ozark Conference Tourney, 9 a.m.
Sept. 23...at Lebanon, 4 p.m.
Oct. 6-7...District Tourney, tba
Oct. 13...Sectional Tourney, tba
Oct. 20-21...Missouri Class 2 State Tourney, tba