GIRLS GOLF: Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020
The youthful Garden City High School girls golf team gained valuable experience at the Class 6A state tournament on Monday and Tuesday which was contested at the Hesston Golf Course.
While the overall finish was not quite what head coach Trent Specht would have hoped for, the two-day, 36-hole tourney will provide much learned knowledge for a team that will lose just one senior.
The Lady Buffs finished ninth of the nine competing teams, placing 12 shots back over the two days behind rival Dodge City. The Buffs had 4-person team totals of 403-388–791 compared to Dodge City’s 389-390–779. Perennial power Shawnee Mission East dominated the team portion with scores of 325-206–631, 62 shots ahead of runner-up Blue Valley West’s 346-347–693. Olathe Northwest rounded out the trophy winners in third at 351-350-701.
“It was a good experience for our younger girls,” Specht said. “With two freshmen and one sophomore and a first time competitor at state being a junior, we were proud of our girls. Rian (senior Linenberger) will be missed.”
Garden sophomore Ryan Warren was the top Lady Buffs finisher with a medal-winning tie for 20th on rounds of 89-87–176. She tied with two others for the final medal spot.
Linenberger was next for the Buffs with rounds of 101-96–197; freshman Jerika Lopez had rounds of 104 each day for a 208 total, Emma Ortiz had 109-101–210 and Allison Sandoval 110-105–215.
With new COVID guidelines in place, only 9 teams competed this year instead of the usual 12 and only 5 players competed for each team as opposed to six. There was no 18-hole cut this year for the teams.
“With our core coming back, if they get to work, we can be really competitive in the future,” Specht said. “I’m really proud of Ryan as she’s now had two top 20 finishes (18th as a freshman). I think her expectations were higher and she played well outside of five to six holes. You take away those and make them bogeys, she probably places in the top 10. She’s going to be really good next year.”
Specht said the improvement for 2021 will have to come from off-season work and summer competition next year.
“I’ve heard from multiple coaches that if they practice and put some work in, they could be really good and I definitely agree. (Assistant) Coach (Carlos) Prieto and I were happy for the most part with our performance and excited for our future.”