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Cottonwood Heights Journal

Eagles comfortably win Region 6 girls golf title, take fourth in state

May 23, 2018 01:25PM ● By Jana Klopsch

The Skyline girls golf team capped off its regular season with a title at the Region 6 tournament. The Eagles then placed fourth at the state tournament May 14–15. (Photo by Kenny James)

By Josh McFadden | [email protected]

The Skyline girls golf team didn’t get off to the start it wanted, but it sure finished in style when it mattered most.

The Eagles won the Region 6 title sending several golfers on to state, which was held May 14–15 at Glenmoor in South Jordan. It was a great way to end region play for a squad that began the season with a loss. The Eagles rebounded and won their last three tournaments as well as their duel matches head-to-head.

Skyline prevailed at the region tournament by a healthy 15 strokes on what coach Kenny James described as “a long course with really difficult putting conditions.”

“Our ability to hit greens on one attempt really set us up for success,” he said. “We chipped really well, and that is huge.”

Five of Skyline’s golfers finished in the top 12 at the region tournament. Kate Taylor, who is headed for St. Katherine’s in Minnesota to play college golf, placed second. Teammate Claire Whisenant finished in fourth place, while Asiana Le, Abby Clayton and Zoe Kouris placed sixth, seventh and 12th, respectively.

“We played well on the harder courses, and this led to our victory,” James said.

James gave glowing reviews of his players and their efforts and mindset throughout the season.

“My favorite thing about this team is its positive attitude,” he said. “When things got hard, the girls always stayed positive and bounced back. It’s a very coachable group, intent on learning and working, and they always listened. They helped each other overcome adversity and bounce back. I love the four senior leaders and captains.”

As Skyline prepared for the state tournament, James knew the competition would heat up even more significantly. He didn’t necessarily expect the team to win it all, but he was confident the Eagles would compete against the top teams in Class 5A.

“There are good teams out there,” he said. “Corner Canyon is probably the favorite, but Alta, Woods Cross, Bountiful, Provo and Skyline are all pretty good. If we can finish anywhere in the top seven, I will feel really good.”

As far as individual players, James hoped Taylor could finish in the top 10 and that two or three others could get some recognition.

Ultimately, the Eagles finished fourth at the state tournament and had five golfers place in the top 32: Whisenant finished 10th, shooting a 164; Taylor finished 16th, shooting a 172; Le finished 22nd, shooting a 186; Clayton finished 23rd, shooting a 188; and Kouris finished 32nd, shooting a 194. Suzi Creveling also contributed with a 202.

No matter how state went, James will look back on this season with fondness. He loved how his players competed on the course and how well they worked together as a team.

“I think I will remember most is the great positive energy this group has, how when conditions were the hardest we played our best,” he said. “I will also remember going head-to-head with the other teams in the duel matches and coming out undefeated. I loved how tight-knit this team is and how we supported each other, especially when one was doing bad.”

“We had a ton of improvement — girls working hard and really getting better. We had girls play varsity and contribute to our success and letter on varsity. It was 19 girls giving their all and trying to make the team better, a group that helped each other and supported each other and got it done.”

Skyline will lose four seniors whom James called “amazing.” Still, with a sophomore and a freshman going to state, as well as a solid junior class, James is optimistic 2019 will be another exciting year for Skyline girls golf.

“I think the most memorable thing for me was how much I enjoyed working with this team, how little drama we had, and on top of that we excelled on the course,” James said. “I will remember comfortably winning our region while having such a good experience. What an outstanding group. I know these girls will be successful in everything they do. We will really miss these seniors, but they leave a great legacy for the others to follow.”