What an encore!
Basehor-Linwood girls golf team qualifies for state in 2nd season
About 13 months ago the Basehor-Linwood High School girls golf team was headed for its first meet, with the modest goal of not finishing last. This Monday, the team will compete on the state's biggest stage, with a chance to make school history.
After an up-and-down season, the Lady Bobcats, coached by Ryan Higgins, saved their best performance for last Monday's regional tournament. They qualified for state by shooting 417 as a team, just two strokes behind the regional champions from Council Grove.
Playing at the Cypress Ridge Golf Course in Topeka, senior Amanda Leive led the way, firing a 94 on the par-71 course, good for fourth place in a field of more than 50 golfers. Leive said her goal going into the tournament was to break 100.
"I just really wanted to go to state because it was my last year," Leive said. "I've had a good time in golf and I didn't want it to end."
A couple of juniors, Megan O'Bryan and Lindsey Fenton, helped Leive extend the season one more week. O'Bryan finished eighth with a 103 and Fenton was ninth with a 104. Both earned individual medals. Alex Oakes (116), Laura Reed (129) and Megan Henley (138) were the other members of the state-qualifying team.
Finishing second in the 10-team regional field was quite a feat for a BLHS team that didn't even exist two years ago. Last year Leive was just a beginner and Fenton was the only one who made it to state.
"There's a lot of girls that, especially this year, have gotten a lot more serious," O'Bryan said. "There's a couple that just started last summer and they've gotten really good, really fast."
O'Bryan said that the school's new weight training program had helped her golf game by making her stronger. She added that now she and some of the other girls were seriously thinking about playing college golf.
But those individual goals will be put aside for one more week, as the team will head again to Topeka, this time to the Western Hills course, to try and make school history. No athletics team has ever won a state tournament at BLHS, which came as a surprise to O'Bryan. She said she couldn't imagine how the golfers would celebrate if they became the school's first state champs.
"I don't know, that would be huge," O'Bryan said.
Leive agreed that winning would be big, but said the team was keeping its focus a bit smaller.
"Just take one thing at a time and hopefully we do place, maybe not first, but maybe a few of us place," she said.
Setting modest goals like that is probably a good thing; it's certainly worked for the Lady Bobcats so far.
The state tournament for class 1-4A will start at 8 a.m. Monday, Oct. 16 at Western Hills Golf Course in Topeka.