The Student News Site of Rock Bridge High School

Bearing News

The Student News Site of Rock Bridge High School

Bearing News

The Student News Site of Rock Bridge High School

Bearing News

Girls’ golf finishes fourth at state, noteworthy feat in RBHS athletics


The Bruin golfers awoke to a 6 a.m. wake-up call from their coach sleep deprived and nervous on Oct. 22. After barely eating breakfast—some scarfing down legendary Super 8 pancakes—they packed their belongings and piled everything into a cramped Columbia Public Schools rented van. 

The Bruins left with only one goal in their minds: bring home some hardware. With hand warmers slowly beginning to warm, the team stepped out of the vehicle after a 15 minute drive to take on day two of the Class 2 state championship at Silo Ridge Country Club in Bolivar, Mo. 

Similar to the previous morning, each golfer teed off into 30 mph winds, bundled in excessive layers. The day was slow, and after nearly six hours of cold, windy golf, the Bruins anxiously waited for the scores to roll in at the conclusion of their rounds. All five were huddled together near the official scoreboard eyeing the incoming totals and constantly refreshing the Live Scoring on the Missouri State High School Athletics Association (MSHSAA) website. Finally, each golfer ascended the stage and bowed their heads to receive a medal in recognition of their astounding fourth place finish, the second one ever in RBHS history.

The team shot a total score of 360 on the first day, battling the unappreciated conditions, then came back to shave 24 strokes on day two for a total score of 696, narrowly missing a third-place finish by three strokes. Coach Melissa Coil said she is proud of her team’s accomplishment and defendance of a top four finish.[vc_images_carousel images=”320868,320869,320871,320872,320873″ img_size=”500×400″ autoplay=”yes” wrap=”yes”]“I think the girls did amazing at state given the weather that we had to deal with. State is always tricky,” Coil said. “We certainly proved what a strong team we are on the second day. . . We were the only team in the top four, including ties, from the first day to make improvements. The second day I think the course played even harder—how we played the ball down, wind and pin placements—but we played even stronger, which just shows the strength of the girls to persevere.” 

The Bruins will graduate three seniors from the varsity squad, leaving two juniors behind. One of the juniors is Madison Moller, who successfully fought for All-State recognition with a 12th place finish and a total score of 162.

“I feel good about my performance at state. I left a lot of shots out there the first day but, considering we had 30 mph winds, I am pleased with the overall result,” Moller said. “I barely missed [All-State honors] last year, so all of the off-season I used that as motivation to improve.”

The fourth place award and placement adds to a growing list of girls’ golf remarkable postseason accomplishments, as well as the overflowing trophy case in the Main Commons. Coil, who has coached the team for 16 years, secured 11 district championship titles, seven sectional championship titles, two state championship titles, one second place state finish, two third place state finishes and two fourth place state finishes in her time at RBHS; a feat very few high school coaches can relate to.

Coil said she sent a team to state every year she coached, with the exception of the 2013 season. The first team went in 2008 where only individuals reached that standard before. Since 2008, teams have been competing at the state championship every year. Amanda Baker, a former member of the 2011-12 back-to-back state championship team, enjoyed the fun memories she and her teammates made during the postseason in hotels, on the bus and on the course.

“Winning state felt amazing,” Baker said. “I got to do it alongside my sister for both years, so it will always be a memory my family cherishes.”

Baker went on to play golf at William Jewell College in Liberty, Mo. She was one of four members of that championship team to play golf at the collegiate level. Throughout Coil’s coaching career she has seen 11 girls continue their golf game at various levels in college, a total she’s hoping to add to at the conclusion of the year. Moller aspires to play in college, but still has a year to perfect her game.

“A lot of teams around Missouri never even get the chance to compete at their state tournament, and the fact that our girls’ golf team makes it almost every year is incredible,” Moller said. “We have a lot of depth and talent on our team.”

The post season is always more memorable for the “amount of fun” the team has, Baker said. Team bonding, sharing hotel rooms and a mutual love for RBHS holds the girls together, an idea that bodes well on the golf course.

“We’ve had a ton of fun over the years: pasta dinners, s’mores together, hotel stays, dance offs in the hotel lobbys, road trips on the buses and vans, doing crafts together or some dying their hair. Essentially I can remember so much,” Coil said. “Each time the girls come together and make memories together—that is something I really treasure, because that will last with them in their memories, and mine, so much longer than any win.”

The official scores of the RBHS golf team from the Class 2 state championship Oct. 21-22 at Silo Ridge Country Club in Bolivar, Mo.

Throughout the years, the Bruin golf team repeatedly comes away with impressive titles, whether they be district, sectional or state accomplishments. With two overarching wins, the program exceeds many in its staggering achievements and performances.

“I don’t think girls’ golf gets enough credit for their accomplishments or the game itself,” Baker said. “I do think over the years more girls have learned about the game and become involved which is always great to see.”

Between missing entire days of school, swapping between Lake of the Woods Golf Course and L.A. Nickell Golf Course as their home course every two years and rounding out their season in mid-October, the girls’ golf team is constantly on the move, which is unlike many sports who are based near RBHS for practice or games.

“We likely don’t get as much coverage as basketball or football do, but I do think that we get as much coverage as sports more comparable to us. We certainly have a very loyal fan base in our families and former players themselves. I always have people asking at school how we’ve done, as well,” Coil said. “So, while we may not have as much print or TV time as other sports or as many people coming to watch us play, I do think that we have several people who genuinely care about our performance and support us regardless.”

In order to find themselves at the state championship, the Bruins put in a lot of effort into their games year-round. Coming away with an overall fourth place finish keeps the girls’ goals high and their spirits higher.

“I definitely don’t think people realize how good we are. I think the reason people don’t understand how much talent we have stems from a lack of interest and spectators,” Moller said. “Golf is a sport that’s played off-campus, and a lot of people forget about us or don’t have any interest to travel to watch us play. It’s unfortunate but that’s just the way golf works.”

What do you think of the Bruins’ performance? Let us know in the comments below.

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