What’s next for the women’s golf team

Tony DeLotell | Staff Writer

After winning two consecutive state championships, the women’s varsity golf team could be considered a dynasty, according to Coach Fred Reeder.

“You could make the case [for calling us a dynasty],” Reeder said. “[We were] runners-up for state in 2007 and then champions in 2008 and 2009, and many are picking us to be the favorite for 2010. If you want to label us that, you could make the argument.”

Despite back-to-back state championships, Reeder said he realizes that the team doesn’t get the notoriety of a major sport. The girls are not bothered by the relative lack of recognition, however, according to Reeder.

“You always want recognition for the good things you do, so I wish our accomplishments could be broadcasted more, but the sport teaches us a lot about ourselves,” Reeder said. “Golf is a solitary sport. You’re out there on your own with no help, and there are no stands of people there cheering you. The girls are aware that there are bigger sports out there.”

Next year, junior Erin Michel will enter her fourth year as a member of the varsity golf team. The team wishes that they received more recognition, but it doesn’t affect their play at all, according to Michel.

“I think part of it is [that] we want to be recognized,” Michel said. “It feels good when someone recognizes you, but the fact that we won is important to us, and whether they recognize it or not, we’re still very excited. It pushes you.”

The Comets have their top three golfers, juniors Emily Wright, Michel and Jessica Zhang, back for next season. Finishing first, second and fourth in the Greater Miami Conference respectively, the girls have their eyes on a third title in 2010, according to Reeder.

“We have our top three back again,” Reeder said. “They’ve been the foundation for the last three years, and they’re back for one more run. We think we’ll be in the mix for another run at the state title; it just depends on how strong we are from top to bottom.”

Reeder said the amount of experience the team has plays a major role in their success.

“They’ve played in so many tournaments,” Reeder said. “They don’t see it as competing against other teams; they’re competing against the course. They’re worried about how well they’re playing the course.”

The team used the experience of the first championship in order to drive them towards the second, according to Reeder.
“We looked at the experience of winning and drew upon that as a positive one,” Reeder said. “We had done it finally, and now instead of hoping we win it, we can expect to win it.”

Michel said that this past year, the team struggled early, losing their first tournament of the year. The team used that experience to bond, according to Michel.

“We pretty much knew that we were going to have to work a little harder for the second year and that it wasn’t going to be a cakewalk, because people expected us to win it,” Michel said. “Then we lost our first tournament. It scared us, but we knew we had to stick together as a team.”

Reeder said he believes there is room for individual improvement. The girls need to improve individually in order for the team to be a success, according to Reeder.

“I always look at it individually, even though it’s a team sport,” Reeder said. “I want the girls to get better individually. We want each girl to improve. Whether that translates into team success is out of our control.”

Michel said she believes that team bonding is an important aspect of the game, and the team needs to get closer in order to get better.

“As a team we just need to get along a lot better,” Michel said. “Team bonding is really important in golf because if everyone is fighting, it really doesn’t help the emotional stability.”

Michel said that Reeder had a significant impact on the second championship run.

“The first year he let us do whatever because we all worked with different professionals,” Michel said. “But last year he really pushed us to work on our short game as well as the mental aspect. He just supported us in whatever we decided to do.”

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