Skyline girls golf team aiming for region supremacy
May 02, 2019 02:00PM
● By Josh McFadden
Seniors on the Skyline girls golf team have been a big reason for the team’s early success this season. (Photo by Diane Feinauer)
By Josh McFadden | [email protected]
Some schools around the state have a tough time fielding a big enough girls golf team to be competitive. This isn’t an issue at Skyline.
In fact, this season, head coach Kenny James saw the biggest turnout during his tenure. James kept 27 girls on the squad, and he’s pleased with each player’s dedication, attitude and effort.
“It is very early, but everyone is working very hard to improve and perform well,” he said.
The season got underway on a positive note. The Eagles’ large team had no trouble at its first region tournament, winning by a whopping 32 strokes. James said the performance bodes well for the rest of the season.
“If we play that well, a region championship should be something we can accomplish,” he said.
The Eagles welcomed back five experienced players from last season. Some talented newcomers have bolstered the team’s lineup and depth. James is thankful he has some upperclassmen to lead by example and by their play. Seniors Danali Zebelean, Bella Feinauer, Skylee Child, Emily White, Gracie Siu, Bailey Randle, Rylee Young and Ann Kim have been big assets to the squad.
“They give great leadership and direction to the team,” James said. “They make sure we stay on track.”
James said as many as eight varsity players can make a strong contribution at any given match. He hopes at least six of those girls, if not all eight, can qualify for the state tournament, which will be held May 7 and 8 at the Ridge Golf Course in West Valley City. Once the team gets to that point, James expects the Eagles to be in the mix for a state title.
“We would like to play our best golf at state,” he said. “The location of the course is nearby, and we should be able to perform our best. Corner Canyon graduated several of their best players from last year, so it should be wide open. We would just like to play our best and we will feel good about wherever we finish. Last year we finished fourth; we would like to play better and improve on that finish. I will feel good if we play well and reach our potential, wherever that puts us.”
Even though Skyline has a large group of seniors, James is optimistic about the future of the program. He pointed out how far things have come in the sport since Skyline first fielded a team 12 years ago. Then, 12 girls came out for tryouts, and everyone made the squad. Today, James has 10 freshmen alone to work with and continue to build the Eagles into a state power. He also has a junior and two sophomores.
“This should benefit us in the future, as we move forward in the next few years,” James said.
However, James is even more pleased with the things his pupils do outside of golf. He said he’s fortunate to play a role in their lives and to watch them succeed in other activities and pursuits.
“I am so proud of the amazing girls that come out of our program,” he said. “They excel in school and other sports. They do many service things for the community. They hold jobs, and they take really hard classes in school. Yet, we have been able to have a lot of success on the golf course as well. I know these girls will do great things wherever they go: school, missions, work and service opportunities all over the world. I consider it a pleasure to be a small part of their lives.”