While there is some uncertainty with the roster makeup of The Dalles girl’s golf team, enough talent is on the rise to give coaches and fans some reasons for optimism.
Led by former state qualifier, Elizabeth Peters, the Eagle Indians have a group of three freshmen, a sophomore and newcomer, Olivia Starks, primed to keep the tee shots straight, the short game pinpoint and the scores low as it tries to make a run at Columbia River Conference glory and a possible run at the state championships in late May.
“The team is young and inexperienced. We will continue to work to get better every day,” said second-year head coach Dan Telles. “The expectations are to improve their knowledge of the game, as well as improve on their scores. We will let the scores take care of itself.”
Since earning her keep as a freshman to punch a state ticket, Peters is back in the mix as an upperclassman, for her junior campaign ready to get back to glory.
In her previous two seasons, Peters has shown an ability to shoot in the 80s, so the skill is there for multiple medalist meets.
Telles believes it is very possible.
“Her strength is experience. She has been working on her game in off season,” the coach said.
In addition, sophomore Jennifer Bonham and first-timer, Olivia Starks, could keep the team in contention and the freshman duo of Rebecca Stiles and Karen Jesch are still brimming with potential with a good mid-range game and putting prowess to help the team tallies.
One golfer who could take her game to another level is freshman, Iliana Telles.
The young Telles has played at a high rate in the Oregon Junior Golf circuit for the past four years, as her length off the tee and putting appear to be her strengths to start the campaign.
Coach Telles is realistic about the possibilities, but remains cautiously optimistic that his squad can hit its stride by the middle of the season.
Playing in the contentious Columbia River Conference is not going to be a walk in the park by any stretch.
“It will be difficult in our conference, but anything can happen,” coach Telles said. “Pendleton is the favorite, with Hermiston in second, and TD and HR battling for third and fourth. Depending on amount of learning, will dictate the outcome of our league, as we are hosting Districts at our course, so we have the home course advantage.”
TD hosted its annual Eagle Indian event today at The Dalles Country Club.
After that, the Tribe travels to Wildhorse for an event in Pendleton at noon on April 7.