Sports Writer

HAVILAND - In 1997, the Wayne Trace boys and golf teams both qualified for the state golf tournaments and it was the first time in school history that both programs made it to that level in the same year.

Until this year.

Although the Raider teams aren’t making the trip, a pair of juniors will be representing the Wayne Trace boys and girls golf teams this weekend at the OHSAA state golf tournament on Friday and Saturday.

Juniors Kaden Sutton and Kenadie Daeger each qualified last week out of their respective district tournaments for the right to participate in this weekend’s 36-hole tournament at the Ohio State University Scarlet and Gray Courses.

Sutton will take part in the boys Division III tournament at the Scarlet Course where he will tee off at 10:40 a.m. Friday morning on hole ten along with Riverdale’s Andrew Kuenzli and Wellington’s Will Palmison.

Raider head coach Chris Rosswurm says just keeping a good mental approach is a key this week.

“I think the big thing for him is just staying mentally focused and going into the tournament with a good approach,” noted the Raider mentor. “We have been working on some of the little things and trying to just keep him sharp both physically and mentally. I think just relaxing and playing is the biggest thing for him.”

Although it is Sutton’s first time in advancing to the state tournament, the Raider junior will be able to lean on his coach a little bit for some experience in this situation.

Rosswurm went to state back in his senior season of 1986 as an individual, shooting a two-day total of 159 in the Class A Tournament.

“Hopefully, that experience that I was able to get there allows me to share with him a little bit,” added the Wayne Trace head coach. “Just being able to talk to him about some of the things he will go through and experience allows him to relax a little bit. It is a lot different now than it was then but if he can take anything from those experiences to help, that is great.”

Meanwhile, Daeger will play at the Gray Course in the Division II girls state tournament.

Kenadie is the first Lady Raider qualifier since Kacee Hockenberry advanced in 2010 and only the second girl from Wayne Trace to make it as an individual.

The Lady Raider junior is scheduled to tee off on hole ten at 10:40 a.m. on Friday along with Grace Miller of Kalida and Julia Hofacker of Akron St. Vincent St. Mary.

“It will help that she has some familiarity in the Miller girl from Kalida,” noted Lady Raider head coach and Kenadie’s father, Jeremy. “She has played with her this year so that should be a help to calm the nerves.”

Much like Sutton, Daeger has spent time working on the little things and just trying to stay fresh with three rounds in three days at the end of this week.

“A lot of this week is just trying to fine tune things and stay fresh,” commented the Raider mentor. “We want to go down and relax and just play golf. Kenadie has played in a lot of tournaments over the summer so those experiences should help her.”

Daeger is also the fourth member of the Rosswurm family to make the trip to the state golf tournament. Kenadie’s great-uncles Ted and Chris, who is also the boys’ coach currently, made it to Columbus in 1977 and 1986, respectively, while cousin Nathan advanced in 1999.

“It is special knowing that she is the fourth member of the family to advance to the state tournament,” continued Jeremy Daeger. “Golf has always been a very important part of our family. For her to continue that tradition, it is something she can be extremely proud of.”

“Having her be the first girl that I have coached to make it to state is pretty special as well,” concluded the Raider head coach. “I was extremely proud of all of the girls on the team this year and it was a tremendous group of girls.”

Both coaches want to thank the Raider community for tremendous support of the golf programs.

“The support that these kids have gotten has been great,” Rosswurm noted.

“People in this school district step up and support these kids,” Daeger added. “It is a great feeling knowing that the community is always there to back them and is willing to support them no matter what. We can’t thank them enough.”

The most important thing for both Raider golfers is to just relax and play.

“Playing through the moment and keeping focused is going to be a key,” concluded Rosswurm. “There are going to be highs and lows but Kaden is hitting the ball very well right now. Play through the adversity and just keep battling. I am very proud of the way he has developed this year and I am excited about the opportunity this weekend.”

“For Kenadie, I think she just needs to battle through adversity and keep playing,” said Jeremy Daeger. “Golf is a mental game and I think her experiences this summer and in the fall season has prepared her for this experience.”