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Holladay Journal

Skyline girls golf capture Region 6 crown, take fifth in state

May 20, 2019 10:54AM ● By Josh McFadden

(Pixabay)

By Josh McFadden | [email protected]

Girls golf is the first high school sport to finish its spring season, and the Skyline Eagles represented the school well with a Region 6 title. With the league crown, Skyline advanced as the top seed from the region to the Class 5A state tournament, held May 7–8 at the Ridge Golf Course in West Valley City.

“We were really pleased after winning the region championship, “ head coach Kenneth James said. “We won the region comfortably, only losing one tournament.”

Things got interesting at state, as the Eagles and their competitors had to contend with rough weather. On day one of the tournament, there was a three-hour rain delay. The following day, nasty winds made it difficult to hit the ball accurately. Still, the Eagles persevered, and James was happy with his players’ efforts. 

“We were really proud of how we handled the conditions,” he said. “We fought through it and showed toughness.”

Freshman Gwen Poelman and sophomore Avery Neville displayed their talents in the inclement weather. Poelman shot a 93, her low score of the year, while Neville shot a 97. Fellow sophomore Asia Le led off with a 92 on day one and followed that up with a 91 on the second day. James expects her to be named Second Team All-State.

Junior Claire Whisenant, a likely First Team All-State selection, led the team with a two-round total of 161 (81 on day one; 80 on day 2). She finished sixth overall among all 5A golfers. Denali Zebelean, a senior, and fellow senior Skylee Child helped the team finish near the top of the standings as well. Zebelean shot 207 over the two days, while Child shot 211. 

“We were really pleased with the way we played, especially the first day,” James said. “The wind got to everyone on day two, so it was not surprising that all scores were higher.”

As for the season as a whole, James said the team reached its goals of winning region, qualifying for state and making the cut. He was also happy that even when adversity hit, the team was close, and players helped one another out. 

“I think my favorite memories are having to deal with tough weather — wind, rain, snow, hail, weather delays at state, cancelled events,” he said. “In spite of all this, the team was a tight-knit group. They liked each other and stayed together and had fun.”

James also said he relied on his seniors — Bella Feinauer, Zebelean, Child, Gracie Siu, Emily White, Bailey Randle, Ann Kim and Rylee Young — to be mentors to the younger golfers.

“These seniors taught our youngsters how to work, how to stay calm and play through adversity,” he said. “They set such a good example of how to do it right.”

Next year could be another big one for the Eagles. The team returns four golfers and has some other players waiting in the wings to join the varsity squad. 

“Our two best golfers return and should improve,” James said. “We expect to add several good young players. We would hope to compete for a region championship, go to state and compete for a state championship in the next couple of years. It was a great year, and we couldn't be prouder of our girls. I have high hopes for us moving forward.”