Wawasee’s 341 at the East Noble Regional Saturday was just good enough to get by, earning the third of three tickets to the state finals. The Lady Warriors edged out East Noble (342) and recent nemesis NorthWood (343) to reach the final weekend for the first time since 1986. Obviously, none of the girls were even glimmers in their parent’s eyes. None of the girls were even in high school the last time Wawasee even sent a golfer to the state finals, which was 2010 when Krista Zurcher advanced as an individual.
The opportunity to golf for a state, albeit a longshot proposition is still appetizing to head coach Steve Coverstone, who has actually been here before.
“I don’t think you have to teach these kids anything, they know how to play under pressure,” said Coverstone, who also serves as the boys golf coach at Wawasee and has guided teams to state in 2002, 2003, 2006 and 2008. “They do a good job under pressure on their own. We’ll just go down there and play one round at a time and see what we can do.”
Coverstone admits he doesn’t know much about Prairie View, the new home to state finals after years of the tournament being spent at Legends in Franklin. Coverstone himself has played the course once, but doesn’t have much to offer on its nuances and strategy.
“I really don’t know much about Prairie View, I played it once in a scramble,” Coverstone said. “It’s a beautiful course, but beyond that, I’m hoping getting down there playing a practice round will give us an idea of what we’ll see.”
Wawasee’s roster has settled in this season as the tournament unfolded. No. 1 Mawhorter dealt with shoulder discomfort at the regional, but gritted through the pain to post an 83. No. 2 Elizabeth Jackson also shot an 83, shaking off near disaster on the final hole at the regional in an otherwise career-defining round.
“It’s been a great week, I’m so proud of my team,” Jackson said Wednesday. “This is what I’ve dreamed of doing, going to state as a team, and now that it really is happening I couldn’t be happier.”
No. 3 Rostochak posted the besst round of her career last weekend, 85, and has been steadily improving all year. No. 4 Aubrey Schmeltz has been the hobbled hero of sorts, wearing a walking boot the entire year after suffering an injury prior to the season. Schmeltz has still been good, shooting an average of 93 this postseason.
No. 5 for Wawasee in the postseason has been Kamryn Foy, who had battled Madison Beaman and Courtney McDaniel for the spot ahead of the tournament and won the spot.
Prairie View is a par 72 (36/36) course that lays out from the white tees at 6,215 yards to 6,121 yards depending on tee placement. There is water all along the course and several surprises, according to the course’s virtual layout.
Wawasee will tee off the back nine at 9:51 a.m. with Foy taking honors and working from No. 5 to No. 1. The team is grouped with golfers from Martinsville, Westfield and Crown Point. The tournament is a two-day event with no cutline, scores are combined from both days.