SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — From 2010 to 2019, the O’Gorman girls golf team won eight class AA titles and are in search of another this season.
“You just don’t have to think about yourself. Everything you do, every shot you take is for your team and if you get down on yourself it’s not really helpful for anybody and if you’re having a bad round and you wave to your teammates and act like you’re playing fine. So, it kind of helps when you know everyone around you is supporting you,” Sutcliffe said.
The Knights program has been guided by head coach Tom Jansa.
“To take over from Rod Garrison who built such a successful program was just such an honor and a privilege and then obviously to have it to my alma mater at the same time has been a real pleasure,” said Jansa.
Jansa’s teaching approach is more focused on mentality rather than mechanics.
“He likes to call it in the red. If you’re angry how do you get back to blue which is calm and how do you just mentally make that switch or if you are playing well how do you continue to be that and just recognizing what’s going on around you,” McCormick said.
“He’s not here to force us to do something and put pressure on us. He’s kind of here to watch us and guide us and make us the best versions of ourselves as a player,” Bender said.
And the culture has become family-like.
‘We we’re in Hillcrest at Yankton and I had had a pretty good day and I was like super happy and I came off the course and one of my teammates gave me a big hug and told me good job and that was like my favorite moment like wow like this is actually doing something and it made me really happy to know that I’m supported by everyone,” Bender said.
This season the Knights have won invites at Huron, Mitchell, and Yankton, the three round City Tournament, and Metro Conference but the focus always remains on the next challenge.
“If I hear, ya know, over hear talk about records or anything about what’s happening in the past I just try to just say ‘hey, that’s in the past and we still have to play this round in this tournament’. It doesn’t matter if we’ve won all of them up till now, they don’t give you the trophy until you play all the shots in that tournament,” Jansa said.
and the next tournament will be the last of the 2021 season… the state championship.
“You’ll see a team full of, oh my gosh we joke around so much. I think we’ll just be happy and really really excited to play and ready to go,” Sutcliffe said.
“We’re just going to be us, keep playing. Do the best we can and hope for the best,” McCormick said.