PANTHERS, TIGERS GET ONE FINAL TUNE-UP
Ink Free News / Sports on Saturday, September 5, 2020
By Adam Yoder
LAFAYETTE – As girls golf enters the “championship season” next week, the NorthWood and Warsaw squads headed to the 22-team, 109-player field at the Lafayette Jefferson Broncho Invite at Battleground Golf Club on Saturday.
The next two weeks include the NLC Championships at South Shore in Syracuse on September 12th and the IHSAA Warsaw Sectional at Stonehenge the following week. If the golf gods are willing, there could be a regional opportunity in three weeks and a state finals experience in both teams’ futures.
A wind-swept course that also plays host to an IHSAA regional in three weeks saw scores balloon for most teams. All except for the IHSGCA No. 3-ranked Westfield Shamrocks which fired a 303 and had the tournament medalist in freshman Sam Brown with a one-under-par 71. The Shamrocks followed that up with three more scores under 80 to claim the title.
Adam Yoder’s Panther team finished seventh on Saturday in the 22-team field with a 347, and it was about what he expected.
“We love playing the Battleground because it challenges us,” noted Yoder. “It always has, traditionally. We had an amazing week of nine-hole performances with our backs against the wall, and we gained a lot of confidence. With that confidence, though, comes more expectations. We could’ve handled that better today. Overall, though, I absolutely love who we’re becoming.”
NorthWood junior Cybil Stillson managed her way to a tie for sixth place after starting the day with three bogeys in her first four holes. Stillson birdied the par five 17th but was just a little off on the day, by her standards, and settled for a 79.
“Cybil has just had an awesome week, honestly,” added Yoder. “Its not showing up as much as she’d like on the scorecard, but she really has not made anything in a week outside ten feet. To go, what, 11 over this week over 45 holes and not score well, shows her game is in a good place.”
Bre Goss finished the grueling day birdie-par to shoot 84 in the second spot. Abbie Richner’s improved ball-striking helped her on her way to a 91.
The NLC nine-hole season’s sophomore sensation, Riley Kitson shot a 93. Kira Schrock, in the fifth spot, used a 49 on the back nine to end with a 109, and Bella Sechrist played to a 118 as individual for the Panthers.
Coach David James’ Tigers finished 15th in the large, strong field with a 401. For the day, coach James said, “The combination of strong wind with a tight and tough course, proved to be challenging for many, including several of the Warsaw Lady Tigers. Given these challenges, I am still pleased with how the girls performed. They worked throughout the round to adjust and they were still able to bring in some great shots including several pars and a few birdies.”
Sydney Lancaster led Warsaw with a 92 from the number three position. Marie Frazzetta had a bit of an off-day for her standards with a 99.
From there, Olivia Robinson-Gay and Abigail Davis ended with 105 each. Brooklyn Fitzgerald had a 112 in the fifth spot.
Both coaches are already looking forward to next week’s NLC tournament.
On the Tigers’ chances, Coach James quipped, “I am confident in the talent and ability of the Warsaw Lady Tigers heading into the NLC tournament next week. There will undoubtedly be challenges, but I have every confidence in the girls. This is the match we have been working and practicing for.”
As for Yoder’s thoughts on the NLC tourney that the Panthers need to win to earn their ninth straight NLC title, “We just have to keep improving. There’s no doubt Concord’s the favorite next week, regardless of what the polls say.”
NorthWood gets one more nine-hole match in on Wednesday at McCormick Creek versus Prairie Heights. The Tigers tee it up with Manchester on Thursday at Stonehenge for one last match before the NLC tourney.