Century's Hannah Herbel chips onto the green during the State Class A girls golf meet last season at the Jamestown Country Club. Herbel is the defending Class A medalist, while the Patriots won the team title last October.

On paper, Century looks like the team to beat in Class A girls golf this season.

With individual state champion Hannah Herbel returning and fourth-place finisher Leah Herbel also back, the Patriots will pack plenty of punch when West Region golf teams gather in Dunseith today for the opening tournament.

Century coach Lindsey Reede, who led Century to the state title in 2018, is trying to temper expectations.

"We don't want to put too high expectations on the season. It's a brand new year and anything can change," she said. "Nothing is a given this year. The competition will be very strong just like it always is.

"We're certainly not taking anything for granted. We have just as many things to work on as we always have."

With the Herbel twins leading the way, Century won all but two tournaments it entered last season. Still just freshmen, the sisters were sharp on Day 1 of practice Monday.

"They golf a lot in the summer. They're very well prepared on the first day of practice," Reede said of the Herbels. "They continue to practice very hard. They're very good leaders for our team."

Golf numbers are on the rise at Century. The roster features 23 players grades 7-12, up eight from last year.

"It's awesome to see interest in the game growing," Reede said. "I love it."

The Century lineup has experience at the top. Along with the Herbels, senior Riley Ball and junior Riley Crothers were key contributors to last year's team.

Also in the mix are junior Alyssa Hagerott and freshman Reagan Braun, sister of Madison Braun who placed in the top 10 at the state meet last season.

Competition in the West Region figures to come from Williston and Minot. Williston returns the Carmichael sisters -- Kaleigh and Carrie. Minot's Becca Tschetter placed third at the state meet last season.

St. Mary's returns senior Abby Schmidt, one of the top 10 scorers by average last year.

Reede says her team has been working hard getting ready for the season.

"(The) short-game is always very important," she said. "If we can find our strokes becoming less and less in our short game we'll find out scores becoming less and less.

"We just want to continue to improve day by day, not look too far ahead. I think that's the best approach for us to take."

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Reach Tribune sports editor Dave Selvig at (701) 250-8246 or david.selvig@bismarcktribune.com