116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS - Emma Sorg has been a state golf regular.
Cedar Rapids Washington's senior captain qualified her first two seasons, teaming with the Warriors' Connor Neighbor for a state co-ed runner-up finish in 2019.
Sorg wants to make another trip before her prep career concludes, but more importantly she wants all of her teammates to accompany her this time. That's been a goal since her freshman season.
'It's going to be a huge deal, because it has been so long,” Sorg said. 'My senior wish is to get me and my team down to state and end it with a bang. There is nothing more I would want than to be at state myself and for everyone, including my best friends, on the team to get to experience that together.
'It would be the best ending to my senior year that I could ask for.”
Sorg has high expectations for herself and the Warriors this season, which has started for all four girls' classes and the three smallest boys' classes as players return after last season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year wouldn't be have been the same without her favorite sport.
'I'm pretty excited, considering it's my senior year,” Sorg said. 'I feel like this is a time to shine. We have a great team put together. I'm just so happy we got a season this year, because it would have really sucked, ending my senior year and not playing my favorite sport. I'm really pumped.”
Washington Coach Dennis Goettel said he has been impressed by Sorg's influence in the early stage of the season. The biggest example wasn't directly related to golf.
The all-Metro and second-team all-Mississippi Valley Conference performer organized a team meal at her house. The team-bonding moment transformed into a service project aimed at injecting some Easter joy in to others' lives.
'She's turning into a better leader than I even expected,” Goettel said. 'That's good. It was all her idea.”
Sorg spearheaded an effort to fill plastic Easter eggs with candy and planned a hunt for Special Education students she has helped in a daily Physical Education class.
'I've grown super close with them over the years,” Sorg said. 'I feel like I owe them something. I just want to do that extra thing for them.”
Originally, Sorg's mother recommended doing something for community. Sorg wanted to do something for those at her school and she knew her teammates would embrace the task, even on short notice. Each player provided a bag of candy, while Sorg supplied the eggs. The payoff was the students' happiness.
'They all came in and I brought my rabbit (named Tim) in, too, pretending I was the Easter bunny,” Sorg said. 'They had a blast. It was so fun for my golf team members to meet them and see how happy they were to participate in something like that.”
Sorg possesses a strong golf game as well. She has become a stalwart in the Warriors' lineup, averaging a little more than 43 per nine holes and 91 for 18 as a sophomore. She dedicated last summer to playing weekly Junior PGA events. The competition was as good as practice. She refined her game during those rounds. Sorg noticed the improvement.
A strong mental approach focused on the positive of just being able to play golf has aided her. Goettel said that she has carded a 41 and 42 during two qualifying rounds in bad weather. Her distance off the tee is a strength, hitting to within 100 yards on Gardner Golf Course's longer and tougher holes.
'She can hit it a long way,” Goettel said. 'She has to work on the precision of her irons and short game, but she had 16 or 17 putts in her qualifying round, so that's pretty good.”
Golf has always been a passion. She began playing at age 5 when her parents joined Elmcrest Country Club. Sorg displayed a knack for the game early. She devoted more time to golf, learning from renowned golf coach Larry Gladson.
'I got a lot of help from Larry, growing up, and he still is my coach,” said Sorg, referring to him as her best coach. 'Being outside, making amazing friends. Think about it. You have seven hours at a golf match to make friends, talk and get to know people. I'm so close to some of those people that I met. What isn't there to like about it?”
Especially when you get to play with your friends and teammates.
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