After finishing the sectional tournament with a 346 at Valley View Golf Course on Tuesday, the Chargers punched their ticket with a second place finish trailing only Shelby who shot a 344 so the crown.
Although the Chargers finished with the second best score in a tournament where the Top 3 teams and Top 3 individuals not on those teams advance to the district tournament at Sycamore Springs, Edison coach Lisa Kelble saw a slow start by her squad, but saw the Chargers rally back for a great score.
“I think we got off to a struggle start,” Kelble said. “But I think those were just the emotions of playing in this tournament and emotions that needed to get in check. Once they did that, they started playing better golf.
“The wind was a tough factor, but overall I am very proud. They tend to fight back good and taking it into districts we should be alright. We always want t be cautiously optimistic and never get ahead of ourselves.”
With tough winds the entire afternoon, Shelby Zeiter still posted an 82 (42-40) and Mackenzie Butler fired an 83 (39-44) to lead Edison.Jacque Butler carded a 90 including a 42 on the Back 9 while Zoe Grant showed consistency in her 91 with a 45 on the front and a 46 on the back. Jordan Pruitt rounded out the scores with a 95.
“The Charger girls are a tight group and feed off of each other,” Kelble said. “Once you get into sectional and district, you don’t have your playing partner to feed off of and being the coach, I tried to be that partner today. You never know what to say to them when their emotions are running high. They were hitting the ball further than they wanted to with all of the adrenaline and wind so to come back in with a 346 was big.”
Edison is coming off of an undefeated season where it broke the 9-hole school record twice and shattered the 18-hole school record. Kelble has something special with this group and she says it is all because of what is happening between their ears.
“I think it is all mental,” Kelble said. “If you take any golf team and the same type of players, and if they don’t have mental maturity, they are not going to go as far as a team with it. I want to give my hat off to these girls because they are the ones out there doing the thinking; I cannot control what they think. They are all positive.”
After Mackenzie Butler fired a 39 on the front and a 44 on the back, she came back into the club house upset with her score. It showed Kelble just how much her players want to succeed.
“They will be harder on themselves than I or their parents will be,” Kelble said. “I think that is part of the driving force. They have undivided dedication to the game. They practice on their own and do things I have never seen other teams do. They do the things that propels success.”
Edison advances to the district tournament at Sycamore Springs on Monday. A week to prepare will see the Chargers working around the green.
“I think when we get to districts and get all the girls up there with great ball-striking teams, you have to focus on the short game,” Kelble said. “I think we left a lot of strokes on the course today. I think Edison could have gone a lot lower, but the conditions were tough. The wind was blowing and the greens were playing a lot faster because of it.
“That is where it all boils down to. They girls know if their putting game was sharper today, they would have had lower scores. That is where our focus will be this week on putting and chipping.”
But if Kelble sees a performance out of her senior leaders again, the Chargers could see a repeat performance and advance to state. With Zeiter at the top of the score sheet and Butler at the bottom, Kelble couldn’t find better pieces of bread to her sandwich.
“Mackenzie Butler and Shelby Zeiter are a real strong force,” Kelble said. “They are the bread to the sandwich. With those two leading, this team is like peanut butter and jelly. No matter what we are still a unit.”
New London, Plymouth, St. Paul and Willard all competed on Tuesday as well. the Wildcats were led by Caileigh Kropka’s 116 and Kotiana Barber’s 142.
The Big Red had one lone competitor in Emily Blanton who fired a 112.
St. Paul saw a great performance from Gabrielle Scavuzzo who shot a 95 and Kaitlynn Olak carded a 109. Caitlyn Corrigan added a 112, Raquel Taggart had a 115 and Miller Hosack added a 116 to round out the Flyers’ scoring.
Willard saw a 95 from Shelby Moneypenny while Elizabeth White added a 99, Madison Moneypenny carded a 121 and Sierra Lewis added a 139.