The Minnewaska Area Schools Athletic Hall of Fame Banquet is set for Saturday, Oct. 1 at the Minnewaska House in Glenwood.

This year’s inductees include nine new additions, including Sarah Roering Iverson, Minnewaska Area High School Class of 2010.  Here is the last HOF article highlighting the accomplishments of the new HOF inductees.

Sarah Roering Iverson, MAHS Class of 2010 — This past spring signaled the sixteenth time that the Minnewaska Area High School girls’ golf team qualified for the state tournament.  The rise to the status of a perennial state power began in the spring of 2005 when a team led by an eighth grader and two seventh graders won the Section 6A Championship. One of those seventh graders was Sarah Roering, who would go on to a prolific career for the Lakers on the links.

A three-sport athlete, Sarah played on the girls’ soccer team in the fall during her junior high years before joining the cross country team where she became a captain in her senior season.   Sarah enjoyed playing soccer but an increasing commitment to golf in the fall left little time for both sports.  Cross country required less time yet helped her to stay in shape for the basketball season.

On the hardcourt, Sarah was a three-time letterwinner and helped the Lakers to a pair of conference basketball championships.  She was an All-Conference selection as a senior and was named to the Section 6AA All-Tournament Team on two occasions. She is on the school records’ list in several categories, including holding the two top spots for single-game rebounds with 23 and 22.  She is the only Laker girls’ basketball player to average a double-double for a season in points and rebounds.  

“I loved playing basketball, maybe even more than golf at times,” Sarah said.  “I loved playing in front of the crowd, something that golf didn’t have to that degree. I had outstanding coaches in Jeff Mensing and Darin Johnson, two people who I still have great relationships with to this day.  I also really enjoyed playing with my sister during those years. We had, it seemed, a ‘twin telepathy’ at times in knowing exactly where one another would be for an open pass or shot.”

Although she enjoyed all the sports she participated in, golf was her favorite.  Sarah’s golf career began when she picked up a club for the first time in 1999 after her family moved from Eau Claire, WI to Glenwood and built a house by the Minnewaska Golf Course.  In the spring of 2000, she and sister Emily spent many days on the course with their dad to learn the game. The sisters participated in the junior golf program at the Minnewaska Golf Club, took golf lessons and competed in tournaments around the state.

Sarah was a seventh grader in 2005 when the team finished second to Albany in the conference.  The youthful Lakers won the Section 6A Tournament to become the first MAHS girls’ golf team to make the state tournament.  Their fifth-place finish at state was a fine accomplishment and was an indicator of much promise yet to unfold. In 2006, the Roering sisters carded matching scores of 78 to be the Section 6A co-medalists.  The state meet at Izatys Golf Resort near Lake Mille Lacs came down to the final holes against Lake City with Minnewaska’s score of 664 earning the state championship by four strokes.

From that point on, winning became an expectation.  Under the direction of head coach Peggy Falk the Lakers were unstoppable in winning conference and section titles in 2007.  The top four individuals in the section tournament were Lakers – Emily Roering, Chelsea Falk, Sarah Roering and Courtney Boe.  All four were among the top 13 at state as Minnewaska repeated as state champions with 47 strokes to spare.

A new three-class setup found Minnewaska in Class AA in 2008.  Although at the lower end of enrollment for the class, nothing slowed the momentum built over the previous two years. The Ridges at Sand Creek (Jordan) hosted the state tournament.  Sarah posted rounds of 77 and 80 for her first individual state championship.  Four Lakers finished in the top six as the team outdistanced Red Wing by 54 strokes for its third straight team title.

The spring of 2009 featured more of the same.  Minnewaska claimed medalist honors in 15 of 17 meets as  Emily and Sarah finished 1-2 in the section.  The state meet was another runaway, this time by 67 strokes.  Sarah’s score of 151 tied for fourth, while her teammates Emily (146) and Allie Ostrander (148) posted the top two scores.

“One for the thumb” was the motivation entering the 2010 season as the Lakers sought a fifth consecutive state championship.  Sarah would top the podium 11 times as a senior including a score of 75 to match Brianna Janu for the top spot in the section.  Minnewaska finished 15 strokes in front of Red Wing for another state title.  

As had been the case so many times, the medalist would be determined from within the ranks of the Lakers.  This time, there would be co-champions as Sarah and Allie carded scores of 150 to tie for first.

Sarah’s seven state championship medals (five as a team and two as an individual) are the most won by a Minnewaska Area High School student/athlete in school history.

“Sarah was very coachable and was always open to talking about shots on the course,” her high school golf coach Peggy Falk said.  “She also had a great mental game and was able to get through a poor shot or hole and move on.  You could never tell if she was having good or bad round. She was very enjoyable to coach and I was glad to be a part of all her success!”

In reflecting back on her stellar golf career, Sarah showers praise on coach Falk.  “I’ve heard so many times that anybody could’ve coached those teams from 2006 through 2010 and we still would’ve won state five times, but I disagree.  Peggy was the best!  She was competitive being a former athlete herself.  She knew how to speak to us.  Sometimes it was a hug, or sometimes a kick in the butt to get us going.  She managed our biggest competitors, which were all of us on the team.  We were teammates, but also wanted to beat each other.  She managed that very well and always kept the team in a healthy spot.

“My family was also a huge part in any success I had. My mom and dad were saints!  As I’ve gotten older, I now appreciate and understand the enormous commitment to have your kids competing in a sport. The years of driving my sister and me all over the state, for not only golf, but basketball and our fall sports is not lost on us. They were always supportive and encouraging without ever putting any pressure on us.  Finally, the Minnewaska community was also hugely supportive during those years.  The media coverage and the number of people who made the trip to Izatys and then to Jordan was incredible and greatly appreciated.”

Following high school, Sarah received a golf scholarship to join her sister Emily at Colorado State University in Fort Collins where she played four years and received a degree in Health and Human Services before continuing her education receiving a Master’s Degree in Kinesiology and Sports Management from the University of South Dakota. Today, she has continued her love for golf as she and her husband, Colton, and son, Mac, have returned to the Glenwood area where she is employed by the Ripstick Golf Company and is the current assistant girls’ golf coach for the Lakers where the success of the program continues to this day.

Congratulations to Sarah Roering Iverson, 2022 Minnewaska Area Schools Athletic Hall of Fame inductee.