Girls golf places 4th at state; Bower earns all-state honors


John Flanegin

It was a good two days to say the least for junior Julia Bower and the RBHS girls golf team at the class 2 state tournament at Rivercut Golf Course, with the lady Bruins bringing home a fourth place trophy with a total of 693 strokes and Bower earning All-State honors after placing eighth individually.
RBHS would advance to the tournament after placing first in both districts and sectionals, where in the latter the team would post a score of 346. The team consisting of freshman Olivia Sowers,  sophomore Madeline Monsees, juniors Haley Diel and Bower, and senior Layton Euliss were a force to be reckoned with during the entirety of the regular season earning top three finishes in five of six tournaments, notching titles in the Helias invitational, Blue Springs South tournament, and Smith Cotton tournament.
Heading into the two-day contest the team would receive guidance on the high level of competition the state tournament would hold from coach Melissa Coil, who coached the lady Bruins to back-to-back state championships in 2011 and 2012.
“[She said] the teams headed into the state tournament were going to be tight competition,” Bower said, “and we needed to get focused on what we wanted to come home with.”
And for Bower, Diel and Euliss the focus was to place higher than last year’s 7th place finish. With the familiarity of Rivercut Golf Course and the atmosphere surrounding the tournament came a calm and collected demeanor for the three upperclassmen, each with their own objectives over the course of the two days.
“My personal goal was to strive for my personal low score for both days of the tournament that I had achieved earlier this season,” Diel said. “We also had potential based on our previous tournaments to bring home a trophy and place in the top four teams, which was our team goal.”
While Diel wouldn’t post her lowest score of the year she would earn a place in the top 40 in a tie at 39 boasting a two day total of 173. Freshman Olivia Sowers proved unfazed by the scale of the state tournament and would finish 51st with a score of 177. And while Bower would post an 83 in the first leg of the tournament she remained diligent eventually finishing with a 36 round total of 157 and cementing her as one of the state’s best golfers.
“I was mostly happy because I didn’t play so hot Monday, but I was glad I could pull it together today and still place in the top 15,” Bower said. “My goal going into this year was to be All-State so it was really rewarding.”
While the state tournament may have just ended the lady Bruins are already looking at what they can improve heading towards the 2016 season.
“Moving along into senior year, we will continue to improve our mental game during the course of the season,” Diel said, “and working as a team and giving each other support.”