CIRCLEVILLE — There was both bad news and good news for the West Lady Senators, and South Webster sophomore Ava Messer, on Tuesday.
The bad news was that the Lady Senators’ historic girls golf season, as well as that individually of Messer’s, came to an end in the Southeast District Division II tournament at Pickaway Country Club.
But, the four Lady Senators which competed in their first-ever district tournament, along with Messer, are all underclassmen.
That means they will take their best swings, and chips and putts, again next season.
West, which punched their district tournament ticket by being the fifth and final qualifying club from the Southeast District sectional meet at Franklin Valley Golf Club, placed ninth out of 10 teams on Tuesday —shooting a team total of 454.
Only Wellston with a 465 trailed the Lady Senators, as only one team and one individual not on a qualifying team advances from the Southeast District meet to the state golf tournament—which takes place next weekend.
That was Sheridan with a 353, which edged Westfall and its 359 —as the Lady Generals were the only squad to post all four scores below 94.
The lowest four of five scores for any given club count towards the team total, and incidentally, West was the only foursome of those 10 teams.
Lexi Deaver, who was 11th individually out of 60 ladies, led the Lady Senators with a 90 (42-48) —the only West girl of the four who shot below 103.
Fellow junior Charlie Jo Howard had a 104 (53-51), while another junior —Sydni Callihan —had a 118 (55-63).
Sophomore Sara Campbell contributed a 142 (62-80).
Pickaway Country Club is just outside of Circleville and was all new to the West quartet, but coach Charlie Cooper complimented his group for first of all qualifying for Tuesday’s tournament —and hanging in there.
“All four of my girls went to a golf course they had never played before, and I think they all played well at times today, but just had a few rough patches that kept their scores from being lower like they should,” said the coach. “Lexi Deaver really hung in all day after getting off to a rocky start, Charlie Jo Howard played well early and just had some bad breaks and bad holes late, and Sydni Callihan after shooting around her average score on her first nine really fought hard and her second nine was her career low nine-hole score. Sara Campbell struggled her first nine, but she hung in there, and improved by 16 strokes on her second nine.”
Riley McKenzie, a junior from Crooksville, captured match medalist honors with a 72 —and earned the automatic state qualifying spot.
Maddi Shouts of Westfall was the runner-up with a 76, and was the only other lady to shoot below 83.
Cooper was also amped-up about the prospects for next season, when West returns this foursome — which not only qualified for its first-ever district tournament, but also won its first-ever Southern Ohio Conference championship.
The Senators actually improved their team total Tuesday from the sectional meet by nine strokes.
“I didn’t know I’d ever get the girls that I’ve had when I signed up, and I’ve had five at times the past years, but it’s been a blast getting to coach these four. They work super hard at practice and really listen to any type of advice I give them. I am pretty stoked that all four girls return for a another season next year, in which I hope we get the chance to make it to the state tournament,” he said. “Being a proud West golf alum, and winning 3 SOC team championships and qualifying for two districts when I played, it’s an honor to say that I had the opportunity to be the head coach for the first-ever girls team to accomplish both things. Can’t wait to get back at it.”
For Messer, who was 23rd in her first district tournament, made it an even 100 on the 18-hole layout —with a 48 on the front side and a 52 on the back.
The other team scores included Gallia Academy with a 385, Circleville with a 406, Fairfield Union with a 407, Manchester and Waterford with 421s, and Federal Hocking with a 438.
A complete list of results can be found at www.baumspage.com.
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