By Jeremy Behnke
Journal Sports Editor
BUFFALO LAKE - Growing up right next to a golf course, the sport of choice for Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart's Carly Schmalz naturally had to be golf, right?
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Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart’s Carly Schmalz
The senior-to-be has made Oakdale Golf Club her home away from home, fine-tuning the skills that have made her one of Class A's best golfers.
Recently, Schmalz put those skills on display at the Class A State Girls Golf Tournament in Becker, where she finished 13th overall with a two-day total of 175. Her efforts on the course this past year included being named the 2012 All-Journal Girls Golfer of the Year.
Schmalz managed to accomplish quite a bit during her junior year. Finishing in the Top 15 at state seems to be a pretty good accomplishment, but she wants more next year.
"I think we had a very good year, both myself individually and our team," Schmalz said. "We came a long ways from last year, we actually moved on to sections as a team and that's something that's never happened before with the girls on the team now."
Schmalz is all about thinking of the team next year. She wouldn't mind bringing her teammates along to a state tournament if she qualifies again.
"I know next year our goal is to make it to state as a team," she said. "We're thinking that it's possible. I think overall it's been a really great year and I'm hoping for the best next year."
At her second career state tournament this year, she had a strong first day, walking off the course with an 82. That score was good enough to put her in a first-place tie.
The second day she struggled, wrapping up the day with a 93. Although she was frustrated at first, she still was proud of her effort.
She did put some extra pressure on herself, which won't be the case next year. She signed with William Penn University, an NAIA school in Oskaloosa, Iowa, meaning her collegiate decision won't be weighing on her next year.
"I did put a lot of pressure on myself with looking at colleges," she said. "I've been looking at [Division I] schools and I knew I had to put pressure on myself to shoot lower than what I had been. I think the one thing that has really helped me [golfing-wise] was when I signed with William Penn, my scores were in the 80s again, so I think that pressure's been lifted.
"Next year, I don't plan to put as much pressure on myself, so we'll see how that works," Schmalz added.