Girls golf tees off for district tournament

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Alice Yu

After coming close to the school record for the all-time low score at the Meadowlake Acres Country Club, the girls’ golf team is confident going into districts, which begins on Sept. 28.
Despite two major changes — holding practices at L.A. Nickell instead of Lake of the Woods and lacking an assistant coach — the Bruins have consistently placed in the top three at tournaments, with junior Julia Bower medaling at almost every match.
“I think we have a good shot at winning state this year, and I know that probably sounds really cocky to say,” senior Layton Euliss said. “Last year, we only had two people on the team who had gone to postseason, so we had three new people, and this year, we’re only going to have two, so I think it’s going to help that we have some veterans going with us, and I feel pretty good about it.”
With stronger players, such as juniors Haley Diel and Bower, as well as freshman Olivia Sowers, the success and high performance they exhibit on the course not only benefits the team, but will hopefully grow to bring in more wins in the coming years, according to coach Melissa Coil.
“For us, I think the youth is good because they were able to see early in their golf careers in high school what it really takes to be competitive at the local level, at the state level, and then what kind of work commitment that would mean for them individually and as a team,” Coil said. “I definitely think we’ve seen some of that pay off now, and for me, I get more excited thinking about what that will look like a year from now, as opposed to how great it is now.”
With countless hours of practice supporting their performance, the team is reaping the results, especially Bower and Diel. Already Bower had to change her goal of scoring under 80 in a competitive round, after scoring a 69 at the team’s third invitational. At the first invitational, Bower, Diel and Sowers placed third, fourth and fifth, respectively, and if the success exhibited at the beginning of the season is any indication, the girls’ golf team is in good shape to place at districts.
But in a sport that’s highly individualized yet still requires a team effort, there’s a struggle to find balance between improving individually and contributing to the team.
“It’s a good thing that you’re driven to want to be better than the person that’s ahead of you because then that’s just putting that drive in you to come out every day and give your best at practices, at matches. But I do think that it is a weakness, because it is a slight switch in the mentality in terms of how you approach your golf game,” Coil said. “I want everyone to be focused on themselves, but also in how they can impact the entire team, not just their game.”
To combat this mentality, Coil spent more time building relationships between team members, working to instill respect and camaraderie.
“We’re all pretty close on and off the course, so we’re motivating each other and moving up and down because obviously, the numbers fluctuate throughout the season,” Bower said. “We’re just encouraging each other to keep doing better because it is an individual sport, but it is a team sport at the same time.”
While the strong team dynamics and stellar record suggest a championship at districts, nothing is guaranteed.
“It’s a funny thing. It’s a one-round one-day decision, and you can shoot one thing one day and another thing the next,” Coil said. “All of that has to align at the right time.”