Facing off with a talented field is one thing, but when one of your opponents is a world-beater like Beaver Local, the faults in your golf game need to be few if you hope to survive and advance on the state tournament trail.
At the Div. II girls district golf match at River Greens Golf Course Wednesday, Oct. 5, that was the task handed to the Garaway Lady Pirates.
With a trip to the state tournament on the line, they teed it up and went toe-to-toe with Beaver Local and the rest of the field, and after the turn through nine holes, head coach Matt Hallman said it dawned on him that his group had a shot.
Garaway went to the back nine with a total of 183 while Beaver Local struggled to a 195 and John Glenn turned at 199. A district title and state trip were there for the taking, and the Lady Pirates went all carpe diem on the field, seizing the day and rolling to a title.
“After that front side I realized we had a very realistic chance of pulling it off,” Hallman, a rookie head coach, said of his team’s chances.
While Beaver Local closed the gap, it could not reel in Garaway, and that set off a very enjoyable celebration following a tense time of waiting in anticipation.
“It was a very cool moment for us,” Hallman said. “There wasn’t a lot of room for error, and I think the good Lord smiles down on us, and he smiled big.”
Superstar sophomore Jocelyn Troyer didn’t play her finest golf of the year, shooting an 85, but it was enough. The real story turned out to be Leigh Ann Williams, who just keeps getting better and better as the season progresses. Williams put together sides of 39-43 for an 82 that was tied for the third-lowest score on the day.
Kalyn Mast shot a solid 94 while Helena Immel rounded out the scoring with a 118.
What made the accomplishment even greater was that Garaway boasts just four players while the other teams had five. That meant there was absolutely no room for error for the Lady P’s.
While facing an impressive program like Beaver Local can be daunting, Hallman said the Lady P’s weren’t concerned about anyone other than themselves.
“I don’t think we were thinking about anything but getting off to a good start and doing what we could do,” Hallman said. “I thought we had a great attitude all day long, and that helped us through.”
Hallman said his team approached the day with a lot of energy and confidence, and they executed well throughout the day. That energy turned into an energetic celebration after it was over, but not until another emotion took over first.
“There were some genuine tears of joy being shed,” Hallman said. “Then it got very exciting. There were a lot of different emotions throughout the day.”
Hallman noted that they had not really discussed going to state throughout the year but rather took one day, one round and one hole at a time in trying to get better.
Now that the hard work is done and they qualified for state, there is only one thing left for them to do.
“We are going to go down there, have fun and enjoy the walk,” Hallman said. “The goal has been met for our boys and girls. We’ve made it to the state championship. The hard work has been done long before we got to the season. These girls have earned this opportunity.”