Postseason reflections: current and former championship teams reminisce

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Racket-ing up points: From left, senior Maddy Kayser, junior Allison Baker, sophomore Phoebe Boeschen and junior Sophi Farid competed in the state championship doubles match taking the first and second places overall, after each other. The team came in second overall.

Julia Schaller

Racket-ing up points:
From left, senior Maddy Kayser, junior Allison Baker, sophomore Phoebe Boeschen and junior Sophi Farid competed in the state championship doubles match taking the first and second places overall, after each other. The team came in second overall.

As two new, sparkling state trophies decorate the attendance office and the initial excitement of the state tournaments fade into memories, the girls golf and tennis teams reflect on their past years as state champions. For the seniors, the past four years were ones to remember, and these are the last moments they will take from their high school careers as athletes.

Winning their second consecutive state title this year, the girls golf team, coached by guidance counselor Melissa Coil, proved last year’s victory was a trendsetter, not a fluke. It showed that the girls had plenty in store for years to come, Coil said. Returning with three senior varsity members that were a part of the state championship team last year, Coil was confident in the Bruins’ potential from their first practice of the season back in August.

“Once you’ve been there and had that winning moment you always wonder if you can do it again,” Coil said. “Once you know what it takes, then every day, every practice should start at the point and move forward from there. The level of work, skill, focus, drive is all raised. This year, having three seniors leading the team back, I think that made the realization that we only get one shot at it that much more real.”

Senior golfer Makayla Baker, who tied with senior Kaitlyn Marsh for 11th individually in state this year, has played golf all four years of her high school career and said wrapping up her last season after the state tournament last Tuesday, Oct. 16 was a bittersweet moment.

“I know I will look back and wish to experience being a part of such a great team with our strong bonds amongst each other,” Baker said. “I don’t know what my future years will bring me, but I don’t see another competition that means more than just ‘a tournament’ that I will compete in in the future.”

Similar to Baker, this was senior Maddy Kayser’s final year playing tennis on a RBHS team, after traveling to state every season since her freshman year.

Unlike the golf team, the tennis players recorded two state championships Kayser’s sophomore and junior year and took home second place this past Thursday, Oct. 18.

“It was kind of disappointing [to take second], but at the same time it’s like a blessing to be there in the first place because not everyone can say they’ve been to state and in the final four all four years of their high school career,” Kayser said. “So it was exciting and a blessing, but at the same time disappointing.”

Although the tennis team could not secure a championship this year, Kayser values the work ethic and great times spent together as a team. Kayser said the memories she and her teammates shared during her high school tennis career are what made everything so enjoyable.

“Work hard and have fun,” Kayser said. “Enjoy the time you have with your team because those are the memories you will keep with you forever.”

Both the girls tennis and golf teams brought fame to RBHS as back-to-back champions, and as the seniors on those teams finished another victorious year and now celebrate their careers, Coil said it is not necessarily a win that makes it a lasting memory.

She said she constantly pushes to be a better coach, a mentor and friend for her girls even though she is no longer practicing on the course with her seniors.

“My job as a coach is about way more than golf; it’s about helping people realize their potential, learning to persevere, become responsible young adults and mainly be the best version of themselves that they can be,” Coil said. “These girls have pushed me to realize it isn’t just about their growth, it’s about mine too. I’m beyond proud of the young women they’ve become and feel so blessed I’ve been a part of that growth process.”
By Julia Schaller