The 2022-23 sports season is now officially a go. All three Montgomery County schools competed at the Seeger Invite at Harrison Hills on Monday to kick off the fall sports season. Southmont sophomore Addison Meadows who is coming off of a State Finals appearance last year, looked like she didn’t miss a beat as she took home the individual medalist honors for the Mounties by shooting a 73. Southmont as a team placed fourth with a score of 424.
Having to replace three of its top four golfers from a season ago, Southmont coach Bill Whalen didn’t know what to expect heading into the opening meet of the season, but all things considered was pleased with their performance.
“I told them that a score of 420 was do-able and we just missed it by four,” he said. “I told them afterwards that this will probably be the toughest course that we play on all season. However this will be the course that we come back to at the end of the year for the sectional so we’ll definitely see it again.”
Along with Meadows’ 73 Kelsey Thompson shot a 116. Madisyn Posthauer recorded a 117 with Stella Snook finishing a stroke behind her with a 118. Parker Church also ended with a 132 for Southmont.
Meadows experience of playing in big time tournaments all summer paid off as she was able to have a stellar first meet. With some fresh new faces in the lineup, she’ll be relied upon even more this year and Whalen knows she’s up for the task.
“Addison is a flat out machine,” he said of Meadows. “She hit 15 out of 18 greens today and that 73 could’ve been sub-70 because she missed a lot of 10-12 foot birdie putts. What I think one of the best things about her is she’s more than willing to help out the younger players out in practice and try and do some new things with them. It’s not like she’s just out there for herself, she wants to see the team do well and is willing to help out when she can.”
Crawfordsville ended the meet shooting a 468 as junior Gabby Warren led the way for CHS with a 113. Senior Sadie Walker ended her first meet of the year shooting a 118 with junior Carli Payne carding a 119. McKenzie Wilson shot a 120 and Christen Saunders rounded out the scoring for the Athenians with a 121.
Warren is a new-comer to the Athenians this fall and was playing as the No. 5, but quickly made an impression on Thomas as he notes.
“I’m extremely pleased with how she played,” Thomas said. “I think she surprised even some of her teammates with her performance. They’ve played with her in practice, but then you have to come out and do it on the course and she did that in a big way for us. Overall we had a lot of the girls get off to slow starts and left a lot of strokes out there. We had a lot of three puts and played a lot out of the sand and brush.”
Thomas is more-focused however on the big-picture for his team and isn’t concerned with the high scored in their first meet of the season. Playing an 18-hole meet on a difficult course isn’t the most ideal conditions to begin the year, but Thomas mentions how it will pay off in the long run.
“We had an hour delay and it got windy at times too which played a factor, but I’m just glad we got 18 holes in,” he said. “There was definitely some fatigue that set in but we’ll get better from this no doubt. It begins with Fountain Central on Thursday.”
North Montgomery only had two golfers able to play in the season-opening meet in Grace Shrader and Shayna Ratcliff. Shrader carded a 114 with Ratcliff finishing right behind her with a 115.
First-year coach Bob Ryker, like Whalen wasn’t sure what to expect, but took time to talk about how both of golfers played in the first meet of the year.
“I now have a baseline to go off of now for what I can expect to see,” he said. “The course played a lot faster as the day went on and we had to adjust to that. You also throw in that it’s our first 18-hole match so we got tired about 12 holes in and you could see it. We know that we’ll have to get mentally stronger. I saw a lot of shrugging shoulders and some of the ‘I don’t care attitude’. That doesn’t sit well with me so there’s some stuff we have to work on for sure.”
Ryker is using these first couple of weeks of the new season as a measuring stick. When the Chargers get back to full strength, the team will have a much clearer picture of where the season could end up.
“I’ve had some of the girls tell me that we’re going to get out of the sectional,” Ryker said. “If that’s their goal then it’s mine as well. We’re going to keep working extremely hard to get to where we need to be.”
This is just the beginning of what’s expected to be an exciting season on the links. North Montgomery returns to action tomorrow against Sagamore Conference foes Danville and Western Boone while Southmont will compete in the Tipton Invite on Wednesday with the likes of Carmel and Westfield. Crawfordsville’s JV will compete on Wednesday at the Maverick Invite with the Varsity returning to the course Thursday against Fountain Central.
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