Girls golf: Cheney benefits from facing large-school competition
The Cheney girls golf team doesn’t play against many other Class 3A schools during the regular season.
“That’s one of the most difficult things around here,” Cheney coach Randy Leroux said. “A lot of the schools have gotten bigger, and we’ve been competing with 4A, 5A, 6A schools. Our lowest finish has been third place, so we’re doing pretty well.”
Unlike basketball or football, for example, golf isn’t a sport where teams naturally improve when playing bigger schools, where they can test their offensive or defensive schemes against bigger opponents.
But Leroux still believes it helps his team.
“It’s good to see the competition,” Leroux said. “Like (Taryn) Torgerson from Buhler. She went 3-under at our tournament, and my girls are watching her and seeing how she goes through the motions and mechanics in lowering her score.
“And (Eisenhower’s Makena) Mucciaccio, my girl was astounded, saying it was great to watch her, her routine, how she works on every shot.”
In Cheney’s five tournaments, the Cardinals have finished third three times, and finished first and second once each.
Cheney has a strong set of seniors, who are playing well, including Taylor Wheelock and Brooklyn Lonker, who finished fourth in Class 3-2-1A in 2012.
“It’s good competition,” Leroux said. “I have about seven, eight girls who can shoot from low 50s to high 40s. They are right there together, so one mistake might let the other girls get ahead of them.”
Derby’s expectations — Derby was thrilled when it qualified as a team for the the Class 6A tournament in 2011.
“We only had one really experienced golfer on that team, and the look of just sheer excitement when they realized they had qualified as a team, I’ll never forget,” Derby coach Tim Herrs said. “Last year we knew if we didn’t have a bad day, if we took care of business, that we probably would go.”
This season Herrs said his team is focused on each tournament, finding ways to improve.
Since the greens were being aerated last week at Derby’s practice course, they couldn’t putt.
“We played tee to green and didn’t putt,” Hers said. “That was a big eye opener with the scores, showing that the short game is so important.”
Sophomore Sydney Murray has been a standout, nearly medaling in 2012 as a freshman.
“She’s come back and she’s doing the same thing this year, giving us a low score that really helps out,” Herrs said. “But it’s a new person each tournament that shows up for us. That’s what I like to have.”
Postseason — Garden City will play host to two state tournaments on Oct. 21.
Class 6A is at Buffalo Dunes, while Class 3-2-1A is at Southwind Country Club.
But the initial practice round price was quite different. While Buffalo Dunes is charging $23 per player for the round, cart fees and range balls, Southwind initially planned to charge $60.
Such a high price concerned Cheney’s Leroux.
“I got a very quick response from Lakin High School, who is hosting 3A, and they’ve been talking to Southwind and are in the process of working something out with them,” Leroux said.
The price was steep, especially for small schools with small golf budgets. But Leroux was notified on Thursday that Southwind had adjusted its practice round price to $45.