For the third time in the past four years, the Lady Warriors clinched the League Championship at North Kern Golf Course with their best effort of the season.
Dominating the entire field was veteran Captain Bethany Stainfield, who shot a team, personal and tournament best 93. Remarkably, each of the other four girls whose scores counted for the overall also scored their personal best 18 hole scores: Kira Pankow (102), Cailee Carlson (110), Chloe Shadduck (115) and Kennadee Stilson (124). THS total was 544. Second place went to BCHS with a score of 555.
While the schools normally play a 9-hole tournament throughout the year, they were required to play the full 18-hole course in order to qualify to move onto the next round with a win. Additionally, they had to compete without their normal rotation. Olivia Ringle, a freshman who had not played at any of the previous tournaments, “stepped it up and displayed tremendous character and determination. Olivia was willing to do whatever she had to do to help the team and she had a lot of fun doing it,” according to Coach Dennis Costa.
Coach Costa: “When you get to the end of the season, you see how much your players have grown on and off the course. It’s a thrill to watch these young athletes grow up in front of your eyes especially after they have been with you for four years. Bethany has been with the team for four years. To see her go from a shy freshman to our team captain has been amazing. Senior Chloe Shadduck has participated in two SYL Championships. She has also shown tremendous growth. Her positive attitude and work ethic has been a terrific example for the younger players.”
Costa believes that Stainfield is the first THS Lady Warrior to have competed as a starter in every tournament since her freshman year, and is certainly the first Lady Warrior to walk away from high school golf with three league championships under her belt.
The team now moves on to the CIF Division 3 Central Section Finals at Valley Oaks Golf Course in Visalia, which combines all the Division 3 high schools in the section (basically Central California) on Oct. 22. Individual scorers who shoot 95 or better in Visalia qualify for the combined CIF Individual Championship in Porterville on Oct. 29.