Pratt High School head girls golf coach Kerry Thieme entered this season with only one returning upperclassman with any varsity experience to speak of: that was senior Taylar Fuhr.
It looked to be a rebuilding year with the roster spots being filled mostly by freshmen and sophomores.
It proved to be a challenge for the young Greenbacks, team-wise, generally finishing in the bottom half of the team standings in their events. However, week 7 saw the Frogs finish 4th out of 11 schools at Pretty Prairie for their best team finish of the regular season.
The following week, at “league” (a meet where schools who have golf teams from the CKL and the CPL get together), the PHS golfers took 2nd. That would probably be the highlight of the year from a team perspective for the Greenbacks.
“The season went exceptionally well,” Coach Thieme reported. “Toward the end, we started picking up the improvement pace, taking giant steps instead of baby steps.”
Individually, one nice surprise for Thieme was junior transfer Morgan Schmidt, who wound up being the Greenbacks #1 golfer this season. Schmidt finished 11th a couple of times for Pratt, posting a 51 in both of those Invitationals. She took 5th (109) at Pratt’s “league meet”, and her 107 (15th) at regional earned her a trip to state. At state Schmidt posted her best 18-hole score of the year, a 101 that placed her 40th.
Taylar Fuhr was often the next PHS placer behind Schmidt, although at Pretty Prairie, Fuhr put up a 50 (10th place), which was the low 9-hole score for the Greenbacks on the year. Another highlight for Fuhr was placing 7th (115) at the “league meet.”
Freshman Kayla Baer showed improvement over the course of the season. She posted her best 9-hole round late in the season at Pretty Prairie (58 26th), and saved her best 18-hole score for regional (124 32nd.)
Another freshman, Shelby Richard, had her moments during the season as well. Her best meets were Pretty Prairie (58 24th) and “league.” At the “league” meet, Richard broke into the top 10 (9th 125).
Sophomore Lauren Beardsley rounded out the squad. Starting the year playing JV, her steady effort soon earned her a varsity spot. Beardsley was a consistent performer, shooting 62 or 63 in five different meets. She also had a team-leading 112 (28th) at Cheney and finished in the top 10 (10th 126) at “league.”
Overall, it was a successful season for PHS girls golf. Improvement was made by the mostly young players, there were various moments of glory enjoyed by each of the girls, and one player made it to state as an individual. A rebuilding year, yes, but not a bad one for the Frogs.
Page 2 of 2 - Coach Thieme sees promising signs for next year’s squad. “The girls are anxious to keep playing even though the season’s over,” she mentioned. “And I’ve had 3 or 4 more girls talk to me about going out next year.” So next year could be a good one, too.