The Crawfordsville and Southmont girls golf teams kicked off the 2020 season Monday afternoon at Harrison Hills Golf Course in Attica as part of the Seeger Invitational.
Led by senior Bailey Mittal’s 96, the Athenians shot a 454, while Macie Shirk’s 91 led Southmont to a team score of 43. Lebanon won the invite with a 356, led by Kate Mayner’s 86.
“Right before the meet started we set a team goal of 470 and they shot a 467,” Mountie coach Bill Whalen said. “If you set goals and achieve them you have to be satisfied. I was happy with what we did.”
The Mounties graduated a group of five seniors from last years sectional title team, while Shirk, Taylor Grino, and Stella Snook were primarily junior varsity players who returned this season.
Grino fired a 113, but followed a 62 on the front side with a 51 on the last nine. Snook shot a 132, while Hannah Long carded a 131, and Courtlyn Carpenter shot a 136. Shirk’s 91 included a 41 on the front-nine and was a personal best.
Whalen will look to both Grino and Shirk, who are juniors, to help lead the Mounties throughout the season.
“They know the seniors that graduated last year, they know how they were treated by the seniors and how they took them under their wings and taught them and worked with them,” he said. “So they know what is to be expected of them working with the underclassmen.”
Snook is a sophomore, while Carpenter and Long are both freshmen.
Crawfordsville coach Tony Thomas said the Athenians got off the tee well and were consistent on the green, but struggled with their approach shots.
“I asked the girls what do you think we should work on tomorrow?” he said. “And they said the second shot. That’s the whole game, and was the whole game today. It’s a lack of practice. For the most part they kept the ball in play, but our ball striking was not there today, and they just need to get some repetition in.”
Monday was the first official day for sports competitions governed by the Indiana High School Athletic Association since early March. Schools were shuttered on March 13 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has lingered into the summer months. All summer workouts were postponed until July 6, meaning both the Athenians and Mounties had only gathered for practices a handful of times since last season before Monday’s 18-hole tournament.
Mittal spent a good portion of her time away on the golf course improving, as she tries to return to the IHSAA regional later this fall.
“She played a lot,” Thomas added. “Playing in junior golf and I think that helped her a lot because it was putting her in pressure situations.”
Evie Redding added a 111 for Crawfordsville, while Gwyn Redding shot a 123, and Sadie Walker a 124.
Crawfordsville returns to the course on Thursday evening against Fountain Central, while the Athenians and Southmont will tee off at 1 p.m. on Saturday at the Crawfordsville Country Club for the Mountie Invitational.