Householter leads 2021 girls golf team to competitive advantage in high school meets
Despite the fact that the majority of Coach Erika Householter's girls golf team at Pratt High School didn't even had their own clubs prior to this 2021 fall season, her Greenbacks are shooting low scores on the greens. With three competitions already behind them, the girls team, led by sophomore Averi Blasi, has either won or been in the top three on the winner's list each time.
"This actually the best team I've ever had here, as far as going out on their own and putting in the time," Householter said. "Our practices are pretty limited and we don't get more than an hour or hour and-a-half because of other events at Park Hills Country Club where we practice, so them going out on their own for more time is critical. As a whole, they want to put in the work. Sometimes I can't get to each of them fast enough. It's definitly a fun year so far."
Two years ago the Pratt High School girls golf team didn't even have a team score as there weren't enough players to contribute. Each school may field a six-person team for high school competition, with to top four scores contributing to team scores.
"I think this year we had friends recruiting friends to join, and then some of these girls I had in softball and they came to golf ready to learn," Householter said. "From the get-go, golf is a different kind of sport. You play and get better or worse as an individual, it's all on you, but the team atmosphere is there and these players really support each other."
Last week at Larned, the Pratt team took second, beating out a good Hoisington team in a tie-breaker, and that is not the first time that has happened.
"We have Averi who is just a phenomenal player," Householter said. "She was a state medalist as a freshman, just loves the sport, it's her only sport, and she is always dragging her friends and teammates out to play with her. But in order to win or place high in these meets as we have been doing, sometime it's that fifth-player score that is the tie-breaker that is most important. I keep telling my players each one of them, no matter where they place, is important, because three times now we have had to go to that fifth-player score and it has won meets for us."
At Larned, after 18 holes Blasi was 2nd with a 86 and Emma Roadhouse was 5th with a 102. The team finish 2nd with a score of 431. Earlier in September, the Pratt girls team Greenback girls golf hosted their annual invitational tournament at Park Hills Country Club winning the team championship title for the first time ever. The tourney featured 10 teams and 52 total golfers. Pratt won the team championship shooting a 221, beating Hoisington in the tie breaker. Individual scores were Avery Blasi 2nd (45), Lexi Blasi 9th (55), Madeline Drake 17th (60), Sage Kohman T20 (61), Emma Roadhouse T20 (61), Rayden Crow (62), Tessa Schmidt (62), Anastin Teasley (63) and Jessalyn Smith (79).
At their first meet of the year, the varsity and JV golfers went to Medicine Lodge where Averi Blasi took the individual title shooting a 46. The varsity team (Madeline Drake, Emma Roadhouse, Avery Blasi, Sage Kohman, Rayden Crow) finished in 3rd place as a team. Teasley and Schmidt medaled in the JV division.
Householter, who was a former PHS golfer before going on to play at PCC and Fort Hays State University, said her coaching plan focuses on the basics.
"We start with the fundamentals," she said. "It's actually been an advantage to have so many girls that haven't played before this year because there are no bad habits to correct. We work on finding the best swing for them and they are putting in the practice time to get better."
With her experience, leadership from Blasi and a great work ethic and attitude in all players, Householter said the sky is the limit this year for her team.
"Our early success has propelled us on to bigger goals," Householter said. "We are getting better every day, every minute spent practicing. We want to peak mid-October for post-season action. Our end goal is to get this team to state."