Girls Golf Going to State


Taylor Vandegrift, Reporter

The girls golf team qualified for state for the first time in school history by performing well in district tournaments and placing top 18 out of a field of 55 players. The team headed to the state competition at Cape Girardeau, MO on October 18th.

Varsity golf coach, Paul Carvan, has worked with the girls endlessly to not only prepare the girls physically for state, but also prepare them mentally and emotionally.

¨We practiced every single day, and we put the girls in pressure situations, to better prepare them for state,” said Carvan.

Junior Sarah Larkins is one of the girls that qualified for state by placing in the top 18 rank. Larkins has had the goal of qualifying for state since her freshman year, and now she is fulfilling that goal through her hard work.

¨Last year, I really surprised myself and came really close to qualifying for state, so this year the ultimate goal was actually getting there,” said Larkins.

After finding out that four of the girls on the Varsity golf team qualified for state, emotions ran high. The girls were both excited and scared after finding out they were the first golf team at Ray-Pec to go to state.

¨It was really more relief mixed with some joy and disbelief. It’s like, you work for one thing your whole season and all of that pressure is really just relieved once you’ve realized you finally did it. I was more happy though finding out that three more of us qualified, and we were going as a team,” said Larkins.

The girls felt the pressure when they arrived at state, but they kept a good attitude and focused on the task at hand.

¨The girls were mainly nervous, but once they got settled down, they were better,” said Carvan.

The best of the best arrived at state, which made the girls even more nervous, but the girls’ were determined to play the game they love.

¨The competition at state was excellent, the best players were there,” said Carvan.

The first day of state went a lot smoother than the second day of state, but the girls continued to lift each other up.

¨It was definitely an interesting experience, that’s for sure. We had a great practice round that Sunday, but on Monday, it was just straight downpour rain. Even with consistent cold rain coming down, we were sent out,” said Larkins.

Even though the girls came home without a state championship title, the memories and bond they have made with each other will last a lifetime.

¨The girls were relieved when they came home. There was no more pressure on them to perform,” said Carvan.

The girls sportsmanship, integrity, and perseverance led them far in the game. Although they lost at state, they have improved mentally, socially, and physically as a team.

¨I was incredibly proud. They had tremendous growth from the start of the season to the end of the season,” said Carvan.

The girls loved the golf experience they encountered and the impact the coaches and teammates had on each other.

¨I would just say thank you to my coaches for making my golf experience the best one ever. I mean, you guys created the best golf environment anyone could ask for. There’s so much love, encouragement, and humor out on the golf course that makes anyone fall in love with the game,¨ said Larkins.

Not only have the girls accomplished the task of qualifying for state, they have also inspired younger girls on the team with their passion and drive to play the game, with their sportsmanship.

JV golf player, sophomore Ava Kirkpatrick has felt the impact the Varsity players have left.

¨They inspire me to keep on going even if I have bad days. They always come to practice ready for whatever the coaches are going to give us, and they are determined in what they do. They really help me stay motivated on the course and to always do my best. They show kindness to everyone on the team and are so much fun to be around,” said Kirkpatrick.

With the help of great coaching, sportsmanship, kindness and compassion, the girls golf team were able to go far this season. Though they did not win state, they have the goal of getting even farther next year. The girls have made many memories and friendships this year that will last a lifetime, and there are many more seasons in store for the girls.