After firing off some sensational numbers to begin the season, the Garaway Lady Pirates golf team has come back to earth a little bit, even dropping an Inter-Valley Conference match to a solid Tusky Valley team.
On Tuesday, Sept. 4 at Willandale Golf Course in Sugarcreek, the Lady P’s hosted Sandy Valley and Fairless, and although Garaway didn’t post a blistering score, its 181 was easily ahead of Sandy Valley’s 217 and Fairless’ 232.
Battling a headache, Garaway All-Ohioan Jocelyn Troyer posted a 39, good for most players but pedestrian in her eyes. However, Leigh Ann Williams did have a strong night, firing off a 41, while Helena Immel carded a 49 and Mikayla Weaver added a 52 on a blistering hot, muggy night.
Sandy Valley was led in scoring by Hannah Deford and Grace Crowley, who chalked up matching 51s, while Evy Morrison notched a 52 to pace the Falcons.
“We had a really nice start to the season, and we were putting up some really good numbers,” rookie head coach Angie Miller said. “Lately we have not been as sharp, and we haven’t been as consistent, but I told the girls I would rather have our struggles now than later in the season.”
With Troyer’s leadership, the Lady P’s have made an enormous commitment to the game. Miller gave her team the three days over Labor Day off, and Troyer called each of her teammates and encouraged them to come out and practice.
“This group has as much potential if not more than any team Garaway has ever had,” Miller said. “If they shoot what they are capable of shooting, we should end up better than we ever have, but we have to get there first.”
Garaway got a taste of what it is going to take to compete at state earlier this season when the Lady P’s played in a tournament hosted by state champion Independence. In a tournament featuring the top-five teams in Div. III, Garaway didn’t play its best and finished fifth, but the top-six teams were separated by 10 strokes.
“There was no one blowing anyone away, so we got a good idea of what we’re facing if we want to get where we hope to get, but we would face Tusky Valley in our district, and they are the team that beat us earlier,” Miller said.
While Garaway only has four players, meaning that everyone’s scores count each night, it is an experienced group with plenty of state tournament experience behind it.
“They understand the pressure, and they put a lot of pressure on themselves to perform well,” Miller said of her girls. “The potential is definitely there. This group has the drive and desire to get back to state again.”