Depth hasn't exactly been a strength for the West Fargo girls golf team in recent years.
Not only have the Packers consistently lacked the numbers needed to compete in the Eastern Dakota Conference, in some seasons, they've barely had enough players to fill a scoresheet.
"I remember a couple years ago, we only had four girls on the team," said Anna Wohl, a senior set to play her fifth varsity season this fall.
While it remains to be seen how they stack up with the rest of the EDC, low participation won't be such an issue for the Packers in 2019. With no departed seniors and a deep group of middle schoolers entering the fray, West Fargo enters this season with 13 golfers on its roster.
Wohl, the lone Packer to qualify for state a year ago, is expected to lead the charge, as is fellow senior Ashley Johnson, who was second on the team with an average score of 109.09 in 2018.
Third-year coach Paula Pierson has also praised the development of eighth grader Tori Worner, who shot an average of 114.3 in her first varsity season last fall.
Though they aren't expecting major jumps to come this season, players and coaches do feel the Packers can, at the very least, contend for one of the final state tournament spots out of the East.
"I think we're going to fall somewhere in that 7th, 8th, 9th ranking in the EDC," Pierson said. "What it really depends on is how much did they play in the offseason and what do these newcomers bring to us. I'm really excited to see that. "
“A lot of teams lost seniors last year and we did not," added Wohl. "Hopefully we can kind of step up and make it to state.”
The Packers, who held their first team practice Monday, open the season in an invitational at the Bjornson Park Golf Course in Valley City Friday.
Coach: Paula Pierson (third season)
Last season: Ninth at East Region (Anna Wohl qualified for state)
Who's gone: No one
Key returners: Anna Wohl, Sr; Ashley Johnson, Sr; Tori Worner, 8th
Coach's comments: "It definitely helps that we have everybody returning, plus we picked up a few this year. We've got three upperclassmen that have signed up to play and we do have a number of middle school students, so I am very excited that we have some youth in our program. I'm very happy with the number of middle school girls we've had sign up. We're strong there. We want to contend for one of those spots at the state tournament. And it's going to take youth to continue to build this program and it's going to take great leadership, and we've got that. I really do think our numbers are solid. We've got a nice balance of upperclassmen with youth in our middle school."