NAPPANEE – One of the newer traditions Twitter has afforded NorthWood’s girls golf team is ‘the jump’. Oreo the Panther has been on Twitter quite a bit lately, and is starting to take a beating.
The lovable stuffed Panther, who rides with coach Adam Yoder around the courses, took another ride, this time with a NorthWood golfer in the twilight of Thursday. The flight across the team trophy came as the rest of the Panthers jumped for joy after NorthWood posted a team-record 305 to blitz the first running of the NorthWood Invite at McCormick Creek Golf Club.
When we win, we jump!! 305 (a new school record score) wins the 1st NW Girls Golf Invitational! More results to come. Lyvia Li of @PennGirlsGolf was medalist with a 2 under par 70! Congrats! pic.twitter.com/Lv4nRKKpB6
— NorthWood Girls Golf (@NWGirlsGolf) August 9, 2019
NorthWood, which were dubbed No. 9 in the state in the preseason coach’s poll, had the course advantage in a field that including some area heavyweights like Northridge and Penn. Despite a logjam during play due to morning and afternoon events colliding, NorthWood’s top five seemed unphased and played the course like true vets. It was a sophomore showcase for the home team, as both Cybil Stillson and Breanna Goss were fantastic. Both carded rounds of 73, Stillson from the No. 1 and Goss from the No. 5 spots. Added in tallies of 78 from Kirsten Schrock and 81 from Delaney Davis gave the Panthers their best-ever score in what’s been a common theme of records for the program. Makenna Gall shot 86 for the fifth score, which was still a top-20 score for the day.
“We’re very excited to win the inaugural playing of this event and to set a school record to boot,” said Yoder late Monday night. The Panthers also won the Harrison Invite to start the week and finished second at the Jeff Invite on Tuesday. “There were some very solid scores out there today, with all of the top 10 players in the 70’s, and for us to have three girls break 80 and four more with striking distance of breaking 80, it certainly bodes well for us going forward. We played extremely smart on our home course and with a lot of confidence as well. That’s a hard balance to find. The next test is whether we can perform in that manner, regardless of our score, against elite competition like Saturday.”
NorthWood’s ‘B’ team shot a 385, but had Abbie Richner shoot an 81 and Kylee Gall post 84, both scores in the top 15 overall. Riley Kitson (100), Bella Sechrist (120) and Kira Schrock (130) wrapped up the NorthWood II scores.
There were several fine scores from the event, which included 73s from Penn’s Grace Szklarek and Northridge’s Braedyn O’Dell. Both Stillson and O’Dell were paired together with Penn’s Lyvia Li, who was the overall medalist with a sparkling round of two-under 70. The NLC duo also had a chance to get accustomed to each other as they likely will challenge one-another as contenders in a month at the conference tournament.
Penn, which checked into the state preseason poll at No. 16, posted a 322 for the runner-up spot. Northridge was third at 344, followed by St. Joe at 351 and Concord at 375 in the 17-team field.
Wawasee, which took sixth with its score of 377, had all four of its keeper scores under 100. Belle Brunner led the way with an 87, followed by rounds of 96 from Valerie Haessig and Taylor Cripe, and Tate Cowan chimed in with a 98. Jadison Rostochak had Wawasee’s fifth score at 102.
“We didn’t play our best today,” noted Wawasee head coach Steve Coverstone. “But the effort was there and the attitude was good. Good round for Valerie with a 96. Taylor came back with a 46 after a 50 on the front. Belle finished strong with a 42 on her second nine.”
Warsaw was consistent in its scores, but not consistently low enough to keep pace. The Tigers fell to ninth in the standings with a 399 just a couple days after winning the Plymouth Invite. Delaney Byron had the shot of the day for the Tigers, pinging the flag stick on the par-three sixth off her drive, which she tucked in for a birdie. Marie Frazzetta had Warsaw’s top score at 92 while Byron and Grayson Kilburn turned in matching 102s. Sydney Lancaster and Brooklyn Fitzgerald each had 103s for the Tigers.
“As proud as we are of our first varsity and their performance, our second varsity was about 40 shots better today as compared to Thursday, and that’s very encouraging as well,” added Yoder, who also gave a nod to the golf course, which hosted a private outing in the morning as well, “Our golf course and parks department did an outstanding job behind the scenes.”
NorthWood will send two teams out again Saturday, one to the State Preview in Carmel against some of the state’s elite on the state finals course, and the other half to Noble Hawk in Kendallville for the East Noble Invite, the site of the regional to which NorthWood would play.
Warsaw will join NorthWood at Noble Hawk on Saturday while Wawasee works again Monday in a home dual at Maxwelton against Manchester.