Experienced unit leads STHS golfers
The South Tahoe High’s girls golf team hopes that a mixture of youth and veterans will deliver a fourth straight zone tournament trip in 1997.
With four seniors, Mackenzie Francis, Jennifer Bettencourt, Alissa Zertuche and Jessy Hayward – all of whom have been with the team since the program’s inception – the Vikings have the experience needed to compete. But the team’s other four players, junior Erin Mason and freshmen Misty Butts, Katie Allegrini and Carey Waller, are either just learning the game or haven’t played at the high school level.
It’ll undoubtedly make finding a fifth player difficult for the Tahoe lineup, according to coach Betty Colescott.
“That’s the key right there. It’ll be tough getting that fifth player in there to score for us,” Colescott said. “But they’ve got it there. All they have to do is put in the work and go for it.”
The importance of being solid contributors isn’t lost by the young players. They know that by watching and being eager to learn, South Tahoe may surprise some unsuspecting foes.
“I’m having so much fun, just going out and hitting the ball. Even if I do bad, it’s like, ‘That’s all right. I know I’ll get to play again,'” Allegrini said. “My dad’s been helping me out and I’m reading Ben Hogan’s book. And it’s really a confidence builder being around players like Mackenzie.”
While making a return to zone may be rough, Tahoe features some top individual players, led by Francis. The senior has qualified for the state tournament as an individual the past two seasons. And with extensive summer ball in her bag, including trips to the Junior Worlds and America’s Cup, the senior could emerge as Northern Nevada’s top player.
“I’m looking forward to having a good senior year, a memorable one,” said Francis, who has a best-ever score of 76. “I need to prove to the colleges that I can consistently shoot in the low 80s. That’s what they’re looking for. I just need to mentally stay focused about what’s important to me.
“And as a team, I think we’ve got the potential to do better than last year. If everyone works hard and practices, I think we can get our scores down. We might even make state.”
South Tahoe plays it’s first scrimmage of the season today in Reno. The first of five zone qualifiers is scheduled for Sept. 11 at Wildcreek in Reno.
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