Notre Dame Prep girls’ golf team has no seniors for the first time in years. As a result, the juniors on the team have had to step in and fill the shoes of those absent seniors.
This year has not only been a change for the girls golf head coach, Shelley Dinges, but for the players as well. “I don’t remember a year except for when I started coaching when we did not have any seniors,” Coach Dinges said when asked about how the team has been different this season.
“They may not have some of the same experience as a senior would over 4 years, but these two girls have truly stepped up,” said Dinges. The experience is not what matters as much as the quality of the players taking on this significant role.
This season, many new players have been added to the team including junior co-captain, Brooke Benson. “Although it is Brooke’s first year a part of golf, it is not her first time being apart of a team. She has a great ability to bond people,” said Dinges.
The responsibility and pressure of being a captain or co-captain of any team is already stressful. Being selected as co-captain when you are brand new to that program adds onto that pressure and stress; however, it seems that Benson has been taking on the challenge successfully. She said that “Being on golf has really opened my eyes to how strong golfers are and the amount of time and effort they put into learning the game and making themselves better.” The added stress has not stopped Benson from striving to prove she is worthy of this position.
Along with Benson, Jordan Ashcraft has also stepped in to fill the shoes of the seniors as co-captain; however, Ashcraft is a returning player. “I do feel accomplished knowing that I have gone from being brand new to the team and not knowing how to do anything, to now being co-captain and getting better and better at the game everyday,” Ashcraft said when asked about her growth as an athlete.
Two months into the 2019 season, Dinges said, “I would say that they [Ashcraft and Benson] are doing everything that they can to make sure they are doing a good job.” It seems Benson and Ashcraft are working to the best of their ability to perform as co-captains.
“Jordan has even reached out to former captains to ask them how she could have the qualities of a good captain,” said Dinges.
“They truly are taking the position and making it something more than even I expected. I knew they would do a good job but they have gone beyond my expectations,” said Dinges. The girls finished the 2019 season against Prescott and Boulder Creek on October 2nd.