Rueter To Golf At McKendree

Hope Rueter signs to play golf at McKendree University in the fall. Front Row from left to right: Kirk Rueter, Halle Rueter, Hope Rueter, and Karla Rueter. Back Row: NCHS Principal Mark Begando, NCHS Athletic Director Alicia Heggemeier, NCHS Girls Golf Coach Doug Kell, and NCHS Girls Golf Assistant Coach Don Hawkins
After being a part of a very successful stretch of the NCHS Hornettes Golf Team, Hope Rueter is going to continue to drive the ball at the next level. Rueter signed to play golf at McKendree University. While Rueter was at NCHS, Rueter was a key cog in three SIRR Mississippi Division Conference Championship teams, as well as two state teams. The 2016 NCHS Girls Golf team finished second in IHSA Class 1A. The 2017 NCHS Girls Golf team finished third in IHSA Class 1A.
Although location played a big role in Rueter signing with McKendree, Rueter noted a couple of other factors that went into the decision. “I feel like McKendree is a good fit for me, because I really like the coach. Coach Guffey is a great guy, and I met him this past summer. He’s really encouraging, and I feel like he will be a great coach, and inspiring to me and help me be a better player. I really like McKendree campus and school. I think it’s just a great fit overall.”
Rueter joins fellow Hornettes golfer Rachael Kell in the Great Lakes Valley Conference, although instead of teammates, they could be facing off against each other as Kell signed to play at Maryville University after graduation. Both McKendree University and Maryville University both play in the Great Lakes Valley Conference.
Rueter has been a stallworth in the top four for NCHS golf over the past couple years. Rueter was part of four seniors who led the way to back to back state teams over the past two years.
Hornettes coach Doug Kell said of Rueter, “Of the seniors, she was probably our best golfer at least at a younger age, as a sophomore. Some of the others came along junior or senior year more. She made it to State her sophomore year, and then obviously her junior and senior year we got trophies, but she went as an individual sophomore year. She’s been playing very well for a long time. We had a really talented senior group. Every single one of them could go to college. Every single one of them were approached by college coaches. I don’t know what the other two are going to do for sure. I don’t think they are going to play golf in college, but I’m glad that Hope is playing at McKendree and of course Rachael at Maryville. Two of the four and it could have been four out of four. It’s their choice.”
Kell went on to say, “She’s been kind of like a captain for several years. Good leader on the team. Soft-spoken, she’s not really outgoing and one to carry on and yell but she is definitely a leader in the way she conducts herself on the course and conducts herself in practice, the work ethic, staying physically fit. You can tell by looking at her, she works hard at it and cares a lot about the game.”
As Kell mentioned, Rueter advanced to the IHSA Class 1A State Tournament as an individual in 2015, her sophomore year, as well as a member of the team in 2016 and 2017. Rueter was also named All-Conference in 2014, 2016, and in 2017. Her best finish in the conference tournament was in 2014 and 2017 where she finished fourth in conference. Rueter was named All-South 2017, 2016, and 2015 while at NCHS.
As for the biggest adjustment going into the college game, Rueter says she just expects more competition at a higher level.
Rueter’s college coach, Mikal Guffey expects Hope to contribute right away. “Very excited to sign Hope, she is a fierce competitor and has a proven never give up attitude that I find very special in an athlete.  Hope’s all around game at the Highschool level, coming from a winning program at Nashville will give her an advantage coming in as a freshman.  Hope will help no doubt be a contributor in our very young and exciting lineup next year and look for her to be a contributor immediately.”
For as much success as Rueter had at the high school level, Coach Kell said she’d still have to improve to have a lot of success at the next level. “I think the mental part of the game really becomes important. You have to be super strong mentally. She’ll work on that, and they will have coaches, the mental game coach. She’ll obviously have to hit the ball longer. She’ll probably get better at long irons and things like that. The courses are all going to be longer, so you are going to have to get better at the long game. She still hits it a long way off the tee, so that is always a benefit right from the get go. I’d say to be honest with you, the mental side of the game, and probably the short game around the greens and putting. Not that she wasn’t good before but you can’t miss. You have to be on your game at the college level.”
Rueter stated she’ll have a lot of fond memories of golfing at NCHS but some stood out. “Probably the bus rides, and the practices, playing with the younger kids, the freshmen, helping them out. I feel like that will leave an impact on me.”
While at McKendree, Rueter plans to study Psychology, and looks to go into counselling or therapy.

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