Geneseo Girls' Golf - A Season to Remember
For Geneseo High School seniors Paige Laingen and Miranda Roemer, their 2020 golf season won’t be one they will most likely ever forget.
The two girls were standouts on the golf team and both had hopes of competing at the State Level, but even though they would have qualified there was not a state meet due to guidelines in place as a result of COVID-19.
Jon Murray is the GHS girls’ golf coach.
PAIGE LAINGEN - DAUGHTER OF MIKE AND TARA LAINGEN
“Playing during the COVID pandemic brought many changes to our season,” Laingen said. “It started with such uncertainty and we didn’t’ even know if spectators would be allowed. It ended up that we were able to get in several meets and spectators were allowed to attend.”
Laingen is pleased with her personal season and said, “I had a great season and I feel so fortunate that we were able to get our season in. We missed out on some team bonding and we couldn’t have team dinners, but we still made the most our team events. Seeing that many other high school sports have been delayed, I am so thankful that we able to play golf this fall.”
“Being able to golf my senior year will be a highlight for sure, as we have already missed so many other things at school,” she said. “I really missed having Homecoming activities and going to football games every Friday night.”
Laingen started playing golf at the age of six and she was part of the Kids Clinic at the Geneseo Country Club and also competed each year in the Jim Andrews Youth Tournament at the Country Club.
“I would play mostly for fun,” she said. “I mainly played at the Geneseo Country Club since our family had a membership there.”
By the age of 10, Laingen began playing in more tournaments and joined the Iowa PGA, a tournament circuit for young golfers, and she said, “This was a good opportunity to be involved in golf competitions. I also was able to attend the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Game Day for several years at the John Deere Classic at TPC. This was always a fun day of golf as young golfers were able to meet the Pros and even help caddy their practice rounds. I always enjoyed the John Deere Classic Week and enjoyed seeing the professionals play on a great course.”
When her interest grew in golf, Laingen started taking golf classes and lessons with Butch Haverland at TPC.
“He (Haverland) taught me how to play my game of golf and he helped me develop better techniques. I also owe a lot of my love for golf to Allison Farrell, (a GHS graduate and GHS girls’ golf standout. She was a role model for me at an early age. She took me under her wing and provided a lot of golf guidance over the years. I was extremely lucky to have her as an assistant coach in high school. I am also grateful for all the time and energy Coach Jon Murray has put into the Girls’ Golf Program at the high school. He has been a really fun coach to play for.”
Golf has created many memories for the talented golfer and she said, “Getting to play in the IHSA State Golf Meet in my sophomore year will always be a highlight of my golf career. I will always remember this especially the snow that fell that day.”
Golf is the only sport Laingen is involved in at GHS, but she is president of the school’s Student Council, which she has been involved in all four years of high school and is a member of Fellowship of Christian Athletes and serves as a member of TFCA.
“I am really glad golf is my sport,” she said. “It will always be a sport I can play in the future and one I can keep as a hobby throughout my life.”
School has certainly been different with remote and hybrid learning,” Laingen said. “I have adjusted to the schedules, but do miss the consistency of a regular year.”
She plans to attend college and major in elementary education.
MIRANDA ROEMER – DAUGHTER OF MICHAEL AND CAROL ROEMER
“The COVID-19 pandemic has put a strain on a lot of extracurricular and the way things are done,” Roemer said. “I’m grateful that golf was still able to happen fairly normally because it is very easy to distance on the golf course and its outside. It’s too bad there was no State Meet this year as I was looking forward to trying to go to State with my golf girls. However, I am grateful that we were able to get all the way up to a Sectional Tournament.”
Roemer will continue her golf talents at the college level. She plans to attend the University of Wisconsin – Platteville and major in elementary education where she also will be a member of the golf team.
Her golf career began at the age of three when she started playing golf with plastic clubs…”I started playing with my dad, aunt and uncle and I started actually competing with the Iowa Junior PGA when I was 10.”
She began playing golf as a child at the Sugar Maple Golf Club, formerly known as Maple Bluff, because her dad worked there. “I still play there fairly often, but for high school and this year, I play at the Geneseo Country Club.”
“Golf can be a family activity, at least with my dad,” Roemer said. “My dad takes my siblings and I golfing all the time, I don’t think my mom has touched a golf club more than once.”
She listed some of her favorite experiences in playing golf as “constantly trying to improve my game and I love the tranquility the golf course offers. When it comes to being part of the GHS golf team, I love the closeness of the team and the new friendships that have been formed through golf.”
Roemer also is on the GHS Bowling Team.
When asked about school during the current pandemic, she said, “As someone who hates change and with remote learning and the constant not knowing of whether we will
be in school or not, it’s been hard. I think if anything though, the pandemic has definitely made me stronger and I am getting used to change more.”
She has also had the opportunity to work with elementary students in-person and online more than in the past, so I think this pandemic, if anything, has allowed me to feel better prepared for my future as an educator.”
Working with elementary students is part of an internship Roemer is doing through Geneseo High School, and is a class in which she receives credit.
Her internship is at St. Malachy’s School in Geneseo and she said, “It’s fun because I’m actually an alumna of the school so it’s like going back home. My mom teaches first grade there so I helped out with the first graders a lot last year, but this year for my internship I am helping out in the second grade classroom.”
St. Malachy’s had been holding in-person classes since the beginning of school in August, but went to remote for the first time this school year the week before Thanksgiving. Prior to the remote schedule, Roemer went to St. Malachy’s two to three times each week where she graded papers organized items in the classroom and observed lessons.
“My favorite thing to do though was to give assistance to struggling students,” she said. “For example, if they were behind in a lesson I would give them one-on-one help to get them caught up. I loved that because it gave me that hands-on experience with students. It was this internship that really solidified my choice for a college major because I absolutely love working with these students.”
Even though the students are currently e-learning, Roemer continues to play an active role in the lives of the second graders and she explained, “Their teacher allows me to post 1 lesson and 2 read-aloud each week. I’m so grateful for these opportunities to not only work with the students in-person, but online as well because I feel better prepared for my future as an educator.”