Game On - Spring 2024

24 GAME ON | SPRING 2024 Underwood, Dukes, and Loo- nan provide consistency and depth — a luxury other teams simply don’t have. Underwood followed the twins in 18th place at state in 2023, while Dukes was 24th. All three have the tal- ent to shoot in the 70s as well. Walker points to Dukes as the lynchpin to Gilbert’s dominance a season ago. Should she con- tinue to improve, well, good luck “They’re starting to live and breathe it like Eden always has,” Walker said. “They have definitely gotten a lot more fo- cused on getting better at golf themselves, so my assumption is they’re going to be closer to that 78 to 80 scoring average over 18 holes. Eden Lohrbach will likely be pushed by several other tal- ented 3A golfers, highlighted by Clear Lake’s Meghan DeLong, who was third at state in 2023. DeLong’s older sister, Rebecca, was the 2023 state runner-up and currently golfs collegiately at Concordia University. “Meghan is returning, so that will make Eden be on her game,” Walker said. Twin sisters Ava and Ella Lohrbach had successful fresh- man tours a year ago, as they tied at state and placed 16th and 17th, respectively. But Walker has seen some changes in them, and it has him thinking he’ll see more scores in the 70s from them this spring.



Eden Lohrbach Macy Underwood

Sr. Sr. Sr. Sr.

Josie Dukes Haley Loonan

Sophomore twins Ava and Ella Lohrbach turned in memorable freshman seasons in helping Gilbert win the 2023 Class 3A state title. Both are ex- pected to be even better this spring.

Abigail Thompson

Jr. Jr. Jr. Jr.

Rachel Clouse

Frieda Hoetzl-Herzl Abigail Randall

rest of the state. “Josie last year was the most improved player on our team and had the biggest impact from somebody who was play- ing in that four or five spot,” Walker said. “She was a very important piece to what we had last year because you could al- ways count on her. That makes my job a lot easier.” Underwood has shown she can shoot in the 70s, and Walker describes Loonan as a truly great ball striker. “The way (Loonan) hits the ball on the range ... she just gets up there and rips driver after driver right down the mid- dle. She hits the ball so well,” he said. I know what you’re thinking: So it’s a foregone conclusion Gilbert will roll to another state title? This is golf, after all. It’s never that easy.

On paper, yes, it’s not that close. But golf meets and tour- naments aren’t won on paper. To prepare his team for the pressure moments, Walker added to the strength of Gil- bert’s regular season schedule. The Tigers will play more 18- hole tournaments against 4A competition, including against reigning 4A state champion Pleasant Valley. Now that will be fun to watch. Maybe Gilbert won’t go through the regular season un- beaten, and that’s OK with Walker. What matters is what happens in late May. “A lot of the meets we have on the schedule this year, there are teams that aren’t going to be scared of us,” he said. “We’re going to get everybody’s best shot. For me, I don’t care (about an unbeaten regular season). It’s the banners and the tro- phies at the end of the season

Ava Lohrbach Ella Lohrbach Bergen Roske

So. So. So. So. So. So. So. Fr. Fr. Fr. Fr. Fr.

Lillian Dahlstrom

Jalyn Light

Madelyn Spoon Sydney Zeigler Violeta Flower Reese Kaptur Norah Martens Carly Saienga Addie Winter

that we’re working for. “We want to be state cham- pions. All of the other accolades that go with them are nice.” If you enjoy golf and even if you don’t, make time to watch this team this spring. It may be the best team Gilbert has ever seen. It may be one of the best teams the state has ever seen. And that’s something everyone can appreciate.

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