SYRACUSE – Veteran golf coach Steve Coverstone doesn’t put much stock in the first couple weeks of the season. Knowing there are multiple factors that tend to work themselves out, the cool-as-a-cucumber coach didn’t walk into the 2017 girls golf season with any fire and brimstone. Upon processing his Wawasee team’s 209-217 win over Columbia City Tuesday morning, he shrugged briefly and started worrying about Wednesday.
“I felt the kids were itching to get out there and play today,” Coverstone said. “The kids played pretty well after playing in a few get-togethers in the summer. We just need more tournaments. The only way to get them any tournament experience is to play in more tournaments, so we’ll pack up the bus and get to one tomorrow.”
The season opener at Maxwelton saw Wawasee trot out three returners from its regional squad from last year, but a six-man scoring roster that also had three freshmen and no seniors in the mix. Two of the freshmen scored in the meet, led by Belle Brunner’s 50 as well as a 56 from Ava Harker. A 51 from Lesley Tayagua and 52 from Zoe White rounded out the Lady Warrior scoring. It wasn’t the cleanest round Coverstone will see from his young squad, but he wasn’t expecting perfection out of the gate.
“I thought the kids handled today pretty well,” Coverstone said. “With all the younger kids out there for the first time, I just wanted to see them get into situations and see how they handle it.”
Columbia City also looked a little wobbly in its dual opener. Katie Hoag medaled the round with her 47, making some decent saves from the rough and landing a couple of her drives on par threes within range. Leah Bechtold had a 52 and Lindsey Hoskins and Kellie Frei provided the pair of 59s to make up the top four for the Lady Eagles.
Added Coverstone, “You just have to be patient with them. To get these girls to be as good as they are going to get it going to take a while. A lot of them don’t have hardly playing experience. We have some girls with some really good swings. But to have a good swing and also know how to play in a tournament is a completely different thing. We are learning that right now.”
Wawasee will hop on the bus bright and early Wednesday for a spot in the Huntington Invitational before coming home for another dual Thursday at Maxwelton with Whitko and Concord. Columbia City plays Thursday against Fort Wayne Northrop.