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Engfer-Triebenbach takes over Osakis golf programs

Shelly Engfer-Triebenbach

Osakis' Shelly Engfer-Triebenbach coached golf for about 13 years at the junior high and junior varsity levels during her time in the St. Cloud and Elk River school districts. Now she'll have a chance to run her own varsity program.

The Osakis native recently accepted the position for both the Osakis boys and girls golf teams. The head coaching job became available after Brady Swedberg got the chance to take over the Alexandria boys golf team, a program he grew up in before graduating from Jefferson High School in 2002. Swedberg said he wrestled with the decision after only being at Osakis for one year, but ultimately could not turn down the chance to lead his home program.

That opened the door for Engfer-Triebenbach to lead her home team as well after moving back to Osakis almost 15 years ago.

In addition to her new coaching duties, she also works as a kindergarten through third grade music teacher in Osakis and as the director of the Greater Minnesota Children's Choir. For Engfer-Triebenbach, the timing was right to get back into coaching.

"I coached for about 13 years and then I had children and stopped coaching because they were the priority then," she said. "Now that they're older, I can get back into coaching a little bit. I'm very excited about not only coaching and seeing how well they can do, but seeing how the kids can improve from the beginning of the season to the end of the season. That's really exciting."

Engfer-Triebenbach played golf competitively her last two years of high school and went on to play at St. Cloud State University in college. She taught private lessons during her time in St. Cloud, in addition to her role as a coach at the junior high and JV levels.

"For me, I like to get to know the athletes on all levels possible. Not just golf," she said. "Maybe they're involved in other sports, in academics and other activities that they do. I've already handed out a sheet to them last week when we had our meeting to get to know them."

Enger-Triebenbach is already familiar with many of the Osakis girls team members after her daughter, Kadyn, played on varsity a year ago.

"The boys, I was trying to get to know a little better," she said. "Once we have that established, it seems like it's much easier to work on the game."

The Osakis boys team will feature a relatively young lineup this year, with senior RJ Dykema leading the way.

"They lost four seniors last year," Engfer-Triebenbach said. "That's quite a few out of six, so we will lean pretty heavily on our lone senior, RJ Dykema. He'll be the captain and have a lot of experience coming back. Some of the other golfers too will bring back varsity experience, but they'll be kind of rebuilding."

The Osakis girls featured a young group a year ago that didn't lose a single senior from the six that played at the Section 6AA meet. That means a lot of experience will return for this group.

"I expect them to be very competitive both at the conference and state level," Engfer-Triebenbach said. "We have almost the same team back, so it will be exciting to see how each member grew over the year."

Kirsten Olsen and Christy Helm were juniors on that section tournament team, and Alayna Eldred was a sophomore who went on to finish third at the Class AA state meet last spring. Eldred has expectations of competing for a state title, and her new head coach sees that potential in her.

"I really believe that," Engfer-Triebenbach said. "She works so hard year-round on her game. It's not just a two or three month season for her, it's year-round. She's very dedicated and very inspired and excited to always be playing golf."

Engfer-Triebenbach is excited to have the opportunity to lead this whole program as the season kicked off with the first day of practice on March 20.

Eric Morken

Eric Morken is the sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press and Osakis Review newspapers in Douglas County, MN. Follow him on Twitter at echo_sports.

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