LADY KNIGHT LINKSTERS CAPTURE S.A.C. CHAMPIONSHIP
For the 1st time since 1993, 14 years ago, our Bishop Luers Lady Knight golfers captured the coveted SAC Conference Championship!
The girls went undefeated (6-0) in conference matches.
They then finished 2nd place in the 18-hole SAC Conference tournament at Colonial Oaks, earning enough points overall to be crowned the 2007 SAC Champions. The ladies accepted the SAC championship trophy at a special luncheon on October 4th honoring the Luers team, as well as the individuals named to the All-Conference team.
BLHS was the only team to have 3 girls named to the All-Star team. Senior Heather Hendrickson earned her 3rd All-SAC plaque, and senior Kristi O’Brien received her 4th.
Much improved senior Haylee Eckert captured her 1st All-SAC honor. Heather also won a 4th place ribbon by firing 78 in the Belmont Invitational at Grey Goose, and had a 3rd place finish at the Norwell Sectional with an 89. Her SAC 9-hole average was 44, then improved her average in late season matches down to 42! Haylee, who was 2nd low for her team in the SAC tournament at Colonial Oaks and 8th overall, fired an 88 in the Noble Hawk Regional that tied Heather for 14th overall. Haylee’s SAC average was 45. Then she too, lowered her late season average down to an impressive 43! (This came from a lady who was averaging 52 in early season matches.) WOW! What a difference!
The 4th and 5th spots were often shared between junior Chelsea Pritchard, seniors Morgan Tobias and Erin Springer, and occasionally our up and coming sophmore Kyren O’Shaughnessey-depending on which two were playing the best each week!
Chelsea’s SAC average was 55. And she came through in the big SAC “Battle of the Unbeatens” match vs. Northrop at Donald Ross’ Course tough back nine. Chelsea, one of the most bubbly and happy girls you’d ever want to meet, fired a solid 56, beating her Northrop playing partner in the final group to pull out a vital team 2 stroke upset victory!
Senior Morgan Tobias, in only her 2nd year playing the sport, averaged 59 in SAC matches. Her last 9-hole match was a 48 vs. North Side. Then, she fired her years 2 lowest 18-hole tournament scores in the SAC tourney and in Regional, where she fashioned a 110!
Calm, cool and collected senior Erin Springer had an SAC average of 57. But that doesn’t tell half the story about her. She knew what she had to do on the last hole in the Concordia match, and she calmly did it. We won 182-184 to stay undefeated. She was always so steady. The coaches always knew we could count on her. Erin was the most consistent golfer on Luers’ team. The bigger the match, the better score she had. She averaged 109 in tournament play with her worst only a 113. Then she shot a career low 105 at Regional-with a killer back pain the entire round!
Senior Kristi O’Brien had her best year yet. Her 9-hole season average was 37. Her tournament average was under 75. She won 4 of her first 5 tournaments including the SAC Tourney at Colonial Oaks shooting 76, and her Sectional at Timber Ridge firing 74. She was behind in both tournaments with 2 or 3 holes to play. Kristi shot under par down the stretch both weeks to pull it out. Her low of the year was an eye-popping 68. Last week, she was named to the IHSAA All-State team, the ultimate honor.
The closeness of this team was something to behold. They laugh and joked around like 4th graders, at times. But, when they’re in competition, they are focused and totally into it.
Former Coach A.J. Kalver did a great job grooming these kids (mostly seniors) in the past 3 years! The potential was there. Since most of the girls don’t play in summer competition, we coaches decided that a more hands-on approach could be very beneficial in bringing that potential out. Since most of the girls improved so much during the season, I think it worked. But I had TREMENDOUS help all season from my assistants, Steve Gillie and Bobby O’Brien. They were such a huge part in our team’s success!
Luers girls placed 2nd in a loaded Sectional to advance to the Regional round. We came within 3 strokes of winning Sectional. Then, three girls had their lowest round of their life, on the biggest stage, in the Regional final (Eckert, Springer, & Tobias). I believe our 357 score is the best score in Luers’ history in any IHSAA tournament. As Rock Stars “Queen” would say, “We are the Champions” of the SAC Conference. The girls are sooooo proud! They have a right to be. They worked hard. They earned it!
Now for the future.
Though we graduate 5 seniors, we coaches are very excited about the future! Though it may take awhile, the potential is strong. Chelsea and Kyren lead a strong group of underclasswomen-8 of them talented freshman. Though new to the game only a couple months ago, they’ve made super progress. You should see some of their beautiful swings, already! Plus, many are going to be playing in the summer Parks & Recreation golf program.
The names of the underclasswomen in alphabetical order are: Alexis Baker, Maria Beck (from St. Therese), Jenny Byrd, Alex Eagleson, Lauren Holman, McKenna Kruse, Olympia Olson, Jessica Quinn and Amanda Vankoski. We can’t wait for next year! Stay tuned!
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