For the first time in his 15 years of coaching golf, Al Cue took his team outdoors on the first day of practice.
And, not only that, the kids were not bundled up and some were in shorts and T-shirts.
"This has been an amazing spring," the coach says. "I'm hoping it translates into an amazing year."
The 2012 Buccaneer girls golf team includes, front row, left to right; Sophia Rotterman and Olivia Myers. Middle row, left to right; Ashley Peterson, Ventura Tamayo, Kali Viland and Natali Fellows. Back row, left to right, Anna Aukes, Emily Davids, Allie Curtis, Autumn Drake, Aeli Olson and Jenna Stevermer. Not pictured; Bailey Hanson.
Cue is listed as the head coach for both boys and girls golf teams at BEA, but he actually coaches the girls while Travis Armstrong, listed as assistant coach, is in charge of the boys team.
Gary Holmseth is the coach for the junior high teams.
Cue says he expects the girls will have a very strong year. They will be led by two outstanding golfers senior Allie Curtis and junior Autumn Drake.
"These are definitely our top two players," Coach Cue says. "They will be leading us this season."
The two were both able to advance to the Section Golf Meet last year.
"They both had a tough day at the section," Cue says. "They were disappointed they didn't advance to state. But they are both going to go for it this year."
Cue says he expects eighth grader Natali Fellows to have an impact on the team this season as well.
"Natali had a lot of varsity experience last year and she took a lot of golf lessons last summer," Cue points out. "She should develop into a solid third player for us."
A probable No. 4 player for the Bucs will be junior Aeli Olson, who also has a lot of varsity experience from last year.
"Aeli should be our No. 4," Cue says.
The rest of the possible contenders on the varsity include senior Emily Davids, sophomore Anna Aukes and freshman Kali Viland, all of whom also have varsity experience from last season.
Cue is also impressed with some of the younger junior varsity players, and how much they have improved. He notes some of them could be challenging for some of the positions.
"The best thing is, this is a great bunch of kids," Cue says. "They are all willing to work and improve their skills."
The Bucs open their 2012 season with an invitational meet at New Ulm on April 12. That is followed with an away meet at St. Peter on Monday, April 16.
The following day, Tuesday, April 17, BEA has one of their only three home meets, hosting Martin County West at the Riverside Town and Country Golf Club course.
The Bucs girls coach says he sees Fairmont as the definite favorite among the South Central Conference teams.
"They were the conference champs last year, and they have everyone back," Cue says. "They are a notch above the rest."
But, the Buccaneer mentor says his team is going to be right in the hunt for second place with the other conference teams.
Fairmont is also the favorite in the Section, Cue adds.
The Buc coach says there is an interesting new rule for the high school golfers.
They can use range finders for the first time.
"They can carry a range finder and locate their exact distance from the green and flag," Cue says. "That has not been allowed before."
A rule allowing coaching during the actual golf meet remains in place, as it has been the past two years.
"It allows us to coach the kids during the meet, make adjustments to their game," Cue explains.
The long time coach says he still gets excited for the golf season to start every year, even though being a coach doesn't translate into playing a lot.
This year he has the added excitement of enjoying nice weather as well as coaching the girls team.
"At our first meet in New Ulm last year, in April, the kids were all bundled up in parkas and used hand warmers and there was still snow on the course," Coach Cue recalls. "I think it could be a whole lot nicer this year."