WSU golf team continues to recruit during COVID-19

Lucy Lavalley, Sports Writer

During any typical school year’s recruitment, coaches rely heavily on in-person meetings with potential recruits to allow coaches to get a better feel for which athletes they want to try to recruit for Winona State University’s athletics.

However, due to COVID-19, recruitment for this year’s sports seasons looked a little different.

Director of Warrior golf, Jeff Straight, said there were struggles from going from the old ways of recruitment pre-COVID to the new way of recruitment during COVID.

“Pending on the year, we bring in several recruits for on-campus visits and go to several tournaments in the summer to watch players play,” Straight said. “[This year] it was difficult to say the least, not being able to go and watch players play, even from a great distance, made it hard on recruits as well as the coaches. It was difficult to not be able to watch and speak with a player face to face.”

However, the trouble with recruitment will not affect the golf team much since they did not need many recruits for the fall of 2021, Straight said.

“Our women’s team only needed one player for the fall of 2021 as we had a large recruiting class for fall 2020, and we have signed that player,” Straight said. “As for the men’s team we have also signed one player so far and are looking at possibly one or two others.”

According to the Winona State athletic website, the recently announced additions to the Warrior’s golf program are John Langlois of Burnsville, Minnesota for the men’s team and Ellie Behring, from Franklin, Wisconsin for the women’s team.

Langlois is a three-time Minnesota State High School League qualifier and earned the title of All-South Suburban Conference honors in 2017-19 and recently finished in the top ten in the 2020 Minnesota Junior Boys tournament.

Behring was named the Wisconsin Southeast Conference Player-of-the-Year twice in 2019 and 2020 and was ranked the twelfth best player in the state in 2020.

Straight said he is proud of his choice to sign Langlois and Behring, as stated on the Winona State athletic website.

“I have been watching John play for several years, I like the fact that he plays the game with great intensity and passion. I was very impressed to watch his third place finish at the State Tournament. John is without a doubt one of the top players in the State of Minnesota and I am very proud to have him as a part of our family” Straight said.

Straight said Behring won’t have a difficult time adapting to the golf team.

“She [Behring] is a very good player and will fit in very well with the great women that we have on our squad,” Straight said. “She is by far one of the top players in the state of Wisconsin and we are proud that she will be a Warrior in the fall of 2021.”

As for this year, Coach Straight and the rest of the golf team is hoping to be able to play a spring schedule of at least seven tournaments, although that is still undetermined.

However, Straight remains hopeful.

“Golf as a sport had one of its best years ever in 2020 for rounds and equipment sales,” Straight said. “It’s time for us to tee it up.