Banner year sees region title return to Skyline
May 30, 2017 04:34PM ● Published by Travis Barton
The Skyline girls golf team wrapped up its season with an eighth-place finish at state and as region champs. (Skyline girls golf)
It had been three years since the Skyline girls golf team had lifted the region trophy. The Eagles thought it time to end that drought.
The team returned the region title to its trophy case and placed eighth at the 4A state championships — its best finish since taking third in 2013.
“We had a great year, we stayed consistent. They worked hard, they were patient and they had a lot of fun,” said Head Coach Brodie Reid.
Reid has held the reins of the program since its inception 10 years ago. The Eagles won six in row before the three-year trophy famine set in. Commemorating his first decade in charge, the team captured the region title.
“We were pretty consistent throughout the whole year, but winning the region championship at Rose Park (Golf Course) was awesome. Just kind of put the capstone on everything,” Reid said.
The important element, Reid said, was combining the veteran core (six seniors) with the newcomers.
“(The key was) experience. We had experience, we had a group of seniors who worked hard and then we had some young players step up and fill some gaps,” Reid said.
With 12 varsity-caliber players on the team, Reid said its success was a true team effort.
“It really was a team win. Whenever someone would have a bad day, someone else would play well and pick that person up,” he said. Skyline had six girls on the all-region team.
And in an individual sport such as golf, playing with your high school team is possibly the only time to experience a team-wide victory.
“Playing high school golf is the one opportunity to play as a team, so really it becomes like the Ryder Cup,” Reid said.
The Eagles brought seven players to the state tournament, something no other team accomplished.
One of those players was junior Kate Taylor, a driving force behind the Eagles’ banner year.
“She’s been lights out all year, she’s been really good,” Reid said.
Known for her long hitting, whether off the tee or high-iron approach shots, Taylor experienced a solid year, highlighted by a 77 she shot in April that included an eagle.
“She works really hard at it and she’s gotten better and better,” Reid said of the junior. “Her work ethic is what puts her at the top.”
Taylor credited her season to her mental focus.
“Not letting my emotions get the best of me and staying grounded and even like, if I had a bad hole, just brushing it off” was the key, Taylor said.
That mental side is why she loves the game.
“It’s definitely a game against yourself in a way,” Taylor, who also plays basketball, said. “It’s different (from team sports) because golf — all the blame is on you and all the reward is on you. I like it in that aspect cause it makes you work harder.”
Taylor’s mental fortitude was on display during the first round of the state tournament. After suffering through a rough stretch, she went par, par, par and then a five-foot birdie putt on 18 to end the round.
Though the team loses six seniors to graduation, the Eagles have Taylor and talented freshman Clair Whisenant returning. Reid said with girls golf continuously growing, he feels good about the status of the program.
“I love our program. We had 20 players on our team, which is the biggest team we’ve had, and we have more coming out every year. It’s an awesome sport, it’s grown for the ladies. I think it’ll get even bigger,” he said.