Districts and secionals wins set girls’ golf for state


Senior Haley Diel watches her ball closely after her drive on the tee box. Photo by Anna Ostempowski

Katie Whaley

Senior Haley Diel watches her ball closely after her drive on the tee box. Photo by Anna Ostempowski
The RBHS girl’s golf team has had a whirlwind of a season so far. They started out in the first few matches as an undefeated force with a target on their backs. They then broke a decade long winning streak against Hickman High School (HHS) for the second time. And now, they’re district and sectional champions.
The district tournament took place Sept. 26 at Tanglewood Golf Course in Fulton, Mo. The girls played 18 holes and, after a long day, they defended their district winner title and came out victorious.
In a head-to-head competition where all 12 teams were giving it all they had, this round was not a hole-in-one. RBHS ended the 18 holes with a total score of 356, just three points under HHS and five away from third place winner Liberty High School (LHS). With such a close round, head coach Melissa Coil sees how all the little things affected the big outcome.
“The greens played really quick today. That mixed with some of the pin placements and wind tended to make us a bit timid and less aggressive with shots,” Coil said. “[But] we stayed strong through the struggles. To only have five strokes between first and third proves that every shot counted.”
The team’s total score was 19 strokes above their average score from 18 holes. Though this was discouraging, senior Julia Bower was still able to defend her title as district championship with a score just three above par.
“We didn’t perform as well as we would’ve liked but the course we played [was] pretty hard,” Bower said. “We made it on to sectionals which is what matters. Even though we didn’t play very well we still advanced and now we have another chance to play better.”
Senior Haley Diel, junior Madeline Monsees, and sophomores Madison Duff and Olivia Sowers all put great scores up as well, placing in the top 28 of the 55 girls that played.
This year was Duff’s first time on the golf team and first district tournament in her high school career as a golf player. She drove through the day strong, earning 16th place and a team district title.
“The greens were pretty fast and had tough pin placements,” Duff said. “Short game is the most important part of golf, most of the strokes come from short game, so if it’s off (like it kind of was for me today) then it can affect your whole score.”
Scores were important that day. Only the top two teams could move on to sectionals and luckily RBHS was one of them, HHS being the other. The fact that RBHS was five shots from not going through was somewhat alarming and the girls are grateful for the opportunity.
“Any day you can walk away as district champs is a good day,” Coil said. “For play, it wasn’t our team best, but still to come out on top leaves us little to complain about.”

Girls’ golf brought home sectionals gold

The week after on Oct. 3, the team packed up and headed for sectionals at Woods Fort Golf Course in Troy, Mo. The Lady Bruins scored a 344, shooting a whopping 12 strokes lower than in the district tournament. The team was even more stoked when they found out the next runner-up was 17 shots away.
Bower placed as the individual sectional champion for the second year in the row, scoring three above par. The rest of the team followed in the top 45 and rounded out the total nicely.
Likewise to how districts works, only the top two teams from sectionals would move on to state. As the first place winner, RBHS secured a spot in state along with runner-up Marquette High School (MHS), parting from HHS who placed 4th.
“I was so happy when I found out we would be going to state. Going into next week, I would say there are no other girls I would rather step on the course with,” Sowers said. “I believe in the greatness of each of my teammates and I am always rooting for them. This is a team sport and each and every one of our shots will count next week.”
The state tournament is going to take place next week on both Oct. 10 and Oct. 11. This year, RBHS is hosting the tournament at the Columbia Country Club.
The last time the team enjoyed the reward of a state championship was in 2012. The following year, the team did not even qualify for the state championship; a major demotion following a fully victorious season. In the last two seasons, the team overcame the rough patch and managed to place in state, but did not win the championship. This season, however, may be the year the team puts itself back at the top.
“I am ready to see what this team is about to do,” Sowers said. “I also know dearest Melahn [Coach Coil]  was a key element in our wins at districts and sectionals as she always had positive talk for me when she approached.”