Numbers don’t dampen STHS’ spirit |

Numbers don’t dampen STHS’ spirit

Steve Yingling

Like any sport, timing is everything.

For the South Tahoe High girls’ golf team, it couldn’t have picked a better time for a downturn in numbers.

Only six Vikings showed up for the first day of practice on Monday. In previous years that would have caused deep concern whether the Vikings would be able to field a full scoring team. But the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association has modified a rule for girls’ scoring in 2008, allowing four players instead of five to post a team score.

“It’s the smallest team since I began building the program 11 years ago,” said STHS coach Marsha Butler. “It goes in cycles as far as interest in the sport. We’ve had a high of 22 and always had at least nine.”

Butler said student athletes are welcome to try out for the team until school begins on Sept. 2. Interested players can stop at the school and see the athletic secretary or assistant coach Patty Haar.

The program lost seven seniors to graduation, leaving only three returners. Junior Alexis Holmes is by far the Vikings’ most experienced returner.

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Holmes has contended for a state tournament berth the past two years, and 2008 may be the season she breaks through.

“She had a really good summer in the Northern Nevada junior golf program,” Butler said. “She shoots in the 80s throughout the season, but will shoot in the 90s on one of those zone days. If she stays where she plays during the season, she’ll get to state.”

A second-place finish at a Wolf Run tournament Aug. 3 in Reno has given Holmes confidence coming into the season.

“I’m really determined to make state,” said Holmes, a second-team All-Sierra Division player last year. “A lack of focus at the end of the season (has cost me). I’ve been pretty close, missing (state) by a couple of strokes, and I can count the strokes.”

Sarah Norton is the Vikings’ only senior. She competed as the team’s fifth or sixth player a year ago. Junior Brittany Rumble saw limited action in tournaments last year.

Rounding out the team are sophomore Katie Sass and freshmen Morgan McCauley and Morgan Murphy.

“The freshmen girls are showing they can play golf,” Holmes said. “We may not be as experienced, but we still have a lot of good things going on. The (new rule) is fantastic and really gives us hope.”

South Tahoe opens its season Sept. 2 at Rosewood Lakes.

Coach: Marsha Butler, 11th season

Top returner: Alexis Holmes, junior

Opener: Sept. 2 at Rosewood Lakes

Date / Tournament / Time

Sept. 2 / Rosewood Lakes / Noon

Sept. 9 / Lake Tahoe GC / Noon

Sept. 18 / Arrow Creek / 11 a.m.

Sept. 23 / Wolf Run / Noon

Oct. 7 / Fallon / Noon

Oct. 13-14 / Regionals (Empire Ranch)

Oct. 20-21 / State (Hidden Valley)