Sports Writer

COLUMBUS - The Wayne Trace golf season extended to the final weekend of the high school golf season this past weekend as the Raiders had a pair of individual participants in the state tournament in Kaden Sutton and Kenadie Daeger.

Sutton was the sixth Raider boy to qualify for the state tournament and the first Raider boy to qualify for the state tournament since 1999. It was the seventh time a Wayne Trace boy participated though as Jeff Snellenberger made it to Columbus in both 1981 and 1982.

Other qualifiers from Wayne Trace have been Ted Rosswurm (1977), Matt Miller (1996), Nathan Rosswurm (1999) and Chris Rosswurm (1986), the current Raider head coach.

Daeger became the second Lady Raider golfer to make it to the state tournament, following Kacee Hockenberry’s trip in 2010.

It was also the first time that both red, white and blue programs had individual qualifiers in the same season in school history. Wayne Trace did have teams from both the boys and girls programs advance to state in 1997 and the Raider boys team also made it to Columbus in 1976.

Both juniors, Sutton and Daeger played separate courses as the Division III boys tournament was held on the Scarlet Course of The Ohio State University while the Division II girls portion was on the Gray Course of The Ohio State University.

Sutton finished with rounds of 88 on Friday and 91 on Saturday, posting a 179 for the tournament to tie for 43rd place overall.

His best hole over the two days was hole 17, where he posted a par and a birdie over the two days.

Meanwhile, Daeger’s tournament run was cut short due to injury.

Daeger had been battling a tendonitis injury most of the season but had managed to overcome it in her quest to make a trip to state.

In the practice round, she was cut short as the pain escalated and became too much.

Daeger fought through it and played 18 holes in Friday’s opening round, shooting a score of 98 on the day.

After seeking medical attention Friday evening, the Raider junior tried to play through it on Saturday but the pain was too great.

Both boys’ coach Chris Rosswurm and girls’ coach Jeremy Daeger were proud of their golfers and the seasons they put together.

“Just very proud,” commented Rosswurm of Sutton’s accomplishments. “He worked hard and he earned his opportunity to play at the state tournament. It was a tremendous experience for him and for me. I am just very proud of him.”

“It was a great opportunity for her,” Daeger said of his junior daughter. “It was a first class experience and very organized. They took good care of the kids and it was just a good time with a tremendous atmosphere. She has a lot to be proud of as does Kaden.”

Both coaches also noted that the tournament was about the kids first and gave the OHSAA a lot of credit for ensuring that.

“One of the first things they told us in the coaches meeting on Thursday was that this was about the kids,” Rosswurm added. “They made sure that was emphasized and that was important.”

“The environment that was around the tournament was very positive,” Daeger continued. “The state did a good job of putting the kids first and making sure they were taken care of.”

Sutton and Daeger each were named the Green Meadows Conference Players of the Year for their respective efforts and led their teams to the GMC championship, another first in school history that the Raiders took both team titles and both Players of the Year.

“Overall, Kaden just had a great season,” commented the Raider boys coach. “He plays with a high confidence level but is able to play with a calm presence as well.”

After playing as an individual in the state tournament in 1986, Rosswurm said it was a little different in 2019.

“Probably the biggest difference was being able to talk to him during the round,” noted Rosswurm. “I think that is a big help in the fact we can talk about shots and discuss different options. That is something coaches couldn’t do when I played so that is a positive change.”

For Daeger, it was a different perspective to not only have a player participating but that it was his daughter.

“It was nerve wracking,” added the Lady Raider head coach. “I think with Kenadie being my daughter, I was probably more nervous than if it was another girl. It was a great experience though and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”

With both golfers being juniors, they will get another opportunity to advance to the state tournament in 2020.

“It will take a lot of hard work,” Rosswurm commented. “It is something we have talked about. One thing we said is let’s take a little time off here and then get back to work on it in a few weeks. There is no guarantee to being able to do it again and Kaden is aware of that. But, I think he is ready to put in the work to give himself the best chance he can heading into next year.”

“He had some holes this year that he had some opportunities but things just didn’t work out,” said Rosswurm. “Sometimes, golf is a funny game and little bit of a roll one way or another can be a big difference. But, overall, it was a neat experience for him and I and I know he has set a goal to make it back next year.”

“Kenadie played in a lot of tournaments over the summer to prepare for this,” Daeger stated. “She knows the work that she will need to do and she will work hard to keep getting better. She also understands there are no guarantees to getting back here so it will continue to be a motivation for her.”

The two coaches, who started their coaching careers together running the boys program, were both pleased to be able to experience the first state tournament trip at the same time.

“I think of him as a brother,” Rosswurm said of the elder Daeger. “We started coaching together in the boys’ and now he has had a lot of success on the girls’ side. For him to be down there with Kenadie and me to have Kaden, that was enjoyable for the kids as well as the coaches. We had an opportunity to spend a lot of time together on the ride down, eat some meals together and just experience it all together.”

Daeger concurred.

“It was a very enjoyable experience, especially with Kaden and Chris down there as well,” added Daeger. “To have both a boys’ and a girls’ player participating, it couldn’t have worked out better for us. It was an experience I won’t forget and I am sure both kids will remember it as well.”

Lastly, the Raider mentors want to thank the community for supporting the golfers and all Wayne Trace athletes.

“The support of the Wayne Trace community is tremendous,” Daeger concluded. “They do a great job of getting behind their kids and we, as coaches, are very appreciative of that. The kids see and hear that support and it means a lot.”

“I think both of these kids have a lot to be proud of,” finalized Rosswurm. “They both had tremendous seasons and both of the teams had great years as well. The community support they receive is great and that is something that we want to make sure to say thank you for.”