2018 Lakeview girls golf changing program perception
The Lakeview girls’ golf team is headed to the state tournament for the first time since 2014 after placing third at districts.
The Lady Vikes were led in scoring by one of their two seniors - Gracie Borer shooting a 99 and taking 10th place.
Behind Borer and fellow senior Olivia Engel, Lakeview came into the season with several other new faces.
For a team not normally known as a golf powerhouse, many would have considered Lakeview a long shot to make state before the season began.
“They’ve made a lot of progress throughout this season team-wise,” head coach Angela Witt said. “It starts with the individuals. We went down to Wayne and shot a 416 or 417, which placed us second out of 16 teams. That was a huge confidence builder for girls.”
Borer also pointed to Wayne as a turning point for the Vikings this season.
“We had no idea before the season, but then throughout the season we kept getting better, and then about two weeks ago we placed at Wayne. We got third the next time out, and then we realized how much better of a chance we have,” Borer said.
Districts wasn’t easy though, and the weather played its part in the tournament.
“It was really cold, rainy, windy,” Borer said. “We had to wear gloves to keep our hands warm.”
Borer said she has noticed a difference in the culture of Lakeview golf in her four years in the program.
“We usually don’t even enough players to have a team,” she said. “We all came together. I feel like we started something almost, like golf school. Like maybe (people think), ‘I should go out for golf,’ because it is unknown at the school. There are more people telling us good job because we’ve placed more and are just doing better.”
Witt also hopes that this year’s state appearance helps grow the golf program at Lakeview.
“Obviously it’s going to do nothing but send a positive message about the golf program, and the girls who are interested in learning a game that they can play forever then hopefully they come out and try it,” she said.
Engel, like Borer, will enjoy ending her Lady Vikes career at the state tournament. Though it was a goal all season, it didn’t necessarily seem like a reality until scores began to come in at the district tournament.
“The front nine, everybody’s scores were basically high, so we knew that if we played the back nine about the same that we played the front nine we would be in the running,” she said.
With so many young faces it was left up to the two seniors to lead the Vikings.
“Most of them had never golfed before this year, or they did, but it wasn’t very much,” Borer said. “This year, me and Olivia led them and kind of taught them how to golf.”
Engel pointed to all the time put in together, encouraging and learning from one another as the main reason the team came long perhaps quicker than expected.
“I think that just practicing as a team, just coming out here every single day to practice and playing the holes really helped us gained confidence,” she said.
“Ever since freshman year it’s been my goal to try to make it to state, so when we got to state, I was really excited because I fulfilled my goal.”
This year’s state meet for Class-B will take place at Quail Run - a course the Lady Vikes are very famliar with.
“We know what clubs to use on what hole, while other teams are just experiencing that for the first time,” Borer said.
Now that the team has made it to state it is already setting goals for the meet.
“I think if we all have our (personal bests) then that would be a good way to end the season,” Borer said.
Borer will be the first Viking to tee off on Monday. She is set to start on hole No. 10 at 9:30 a.m.
Other tee times for the Vikings on Monday are:
Olivia Engel, No. 10, 9:40 a.m.
Paxton Lusche, No. 10, 10:30 a.m.
Ella Meyer, hole No. 10 11:00 a.m.
Torrin Boyer, hole No. 11:20 a.m.
Peter Huguenin is a sports reporter for The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at email@example.com