Every year, it seems, high school sports gives us new reasons to have faith in younger generations of Minnesotans.
Add golfer Kaylee Gossen of Marshall to the list of young athletes to be admired and emulated. Gossen came out a winner this week despite being disqualified from the Class 2A, Section 3 tournament in Buffalo Lake.
Gossen, a junior, did the honorable thing when she discovered after her Tuesday round that she had neglected to count a stroke on the 16th hole.
After talking with her coach, Gretchen Flynn, Gossen told tournament officials about the error. They called the Minnesota State High School League, which verified their ruling to disqualify Gossen, who was trying to return to the state tournament.
“I realized I needed to do the right thing, losing my shot at going to state,” Gossen told a Star Tribune reporter. “I knew walking in there — I started tearing up. I knew I was going to be disqualified, but it was the right thing to do.”
It was, and she did it even though her playing partners from Morris and New Ulm also thought she had a double-bogey on No. 16 — not the triple-bogey she later self-reported after comparing notes with her parents, who had watched her round.
Her coach summed up what her parents must also be feeling. “I don’t have words to express how proud I am of her,” Flynn said. “She could have left there and nobody would have known the difference but her.”
Gossen told the Star Tribune that she “slept good” Tuesday night.
“Integrity goes a lot [further] than state,” she said. “State is a great experience, but I’d rather be known for something much more.”
She certainly will be, and we’ll bet many Minnesotans will be cheering her on as she tries to make a trip back to the state tournament in her senior year.