New head golf coach leads team to State

The men’s golf team is ranked 5th in the state under Kenton Engels, who is in his first year as head coach, after service as an assistant coach since 2012. He is also the instructional technology coach for the high school.

“The season so far has been great,” Engels said. In addition to their state ranking, they won their division of the conference by a combined 23 strokes, tied for 1st in their invitational tournament and had four players make the all conference list.

“Lots of great individual and team achievements so far this year,” Engels said.

Engels started his golfing career just like his players have. “I played golf competitively in high school.  Our team qualified for the 1A state tournament twice while I was a member.  Coincidentally or not, the year after I left, the team won the 1A state title. I did not play golf competitively in college but continued to play and get better,” he said.

In stepping up to head coach, Engels has had to balance his family life with lots of practice time on courses and travels with the team to other tournaments.

“Your first year doing anything is difficult, so my family has been very gracious.  I have a 1 year old named Eliza who I love spending time with.  Balancing my responsibilities is tricky, but I have a great team,” he said.

Engels said it is fortunate to have  a challenging home course for the team’s invitational tournament.

“Beaver Hills here in Cedar Falls is the best course, in my opinion. This course is in great condition and offers a true test of a player’s game.  It is a great way to see where your game stacks up, plus it offers lots of exciting holes,” Engels said.

Cedar Falls’ biggest competition is the Marshalltown team.

“Currently, Marshalltown is No. 1 in the state.  We have not had the chance to compete on the same course as them, but that will change when we host Districts on Oct. 3.  I like our chances,” Engels said.

The team will see their top rival again on Marshalltown’s course Oct. 6-7 for the statewide meet.

Engels said he enjoys coaching golf because it is a sport that his players can do for the rest of their lives. He also said he  thinks it teaches lifelong lessons, too.

“Golf is not a game of perfect.  It’s what you decide to do with the imperfections that determine your round, which I think is also a pretty solid metaphor for life in general,” he said.

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