ANDERSON TWP For the majority of the past decade, McNicholas’ girls golf team has dominated the “Queen of the Hill” match with rivals Turpin and Anderson.
The Rockets won for the ninth consecutive time Oct. 1 at Coldstream. They carded a team score of 213, while the Spartans and Redskins shot 220 and 231, respectively.
McNick’s Maria Ciampone and Turpin’s Hayley Racer both shot 48s to share medalist honors. Franki Franklin led the Redskins with a 54.
“This was our ninth straight year winning the event,” McNick coach Willy Corbett said. “But it came down to the last golfers to finish. Some of those scores counted toward team totals.”
Corbett added that Maria typically shoots better than a 48, chalking up the substandard round to her being “anxious” with it being her last “Queen of the Hill”.
Kiley Byrne shot a 53. Molly Smith and Molly Jorden carded a 55 and 57, respectively, to round out the Rockets’ scoring.
Corbett said, in most years, the team is dealing with an influx of new kids who are new to the game. New players need things to be kept basic. The next steps after they have a good shot on one hole and a good shot on the next are stringing shots together and thinking your way around a course.
Turpin certainly strung some shots together. Coach J.K. Buck said he was very happy with the way his team played.
His top three players including Racer and Isabel Ciampone, Maria’s sister, were right there with the Rockets’ three best.
“This is the closest we’ve come to beating McNick in years,” he said. “Our goal, as always, is to beat Anderson. After that, we have 364 days to improve.”
Buck is hopeful his team returns to play next year and is keen about the prospects of having new players come in from Nagel Middle School, which now has a golf team.
“Hopefully, that trophy will be ours some time soon,” he said.
Anderson could also get some of those new Nagel players as well.
Coach Darin Hausberger said the team made up some ground on Turpin as far as a match earlier in the year, but the greens at Coldstream were bigger and faster than the ones they are used to.
It made saving strokes harder to come by, especially with a lot of newer players.
“As long as they are doing their best, that’s all I can ask for,” he said. “The improvements will come with time. I’m proud of them for hanging on and having fun out there.”
All three coaches agreed the “Queen of the Hill” match is a great way to end the regular season and were very appreciative of the job Coldstream does with hosting the event.
The postseason, however, is just beginning.
McNicholas came in fourth in the Division II sectional Sept. 28 at Hamilton Elks Golf Club with an overall score of 451. The Rockets will advance to the district round Oct. 7 at Pipestone.
Maria Ciampone carded a 93 to lead McNick.
Anderson and Turpin will play Oct. 5 in the Walden Pond sectional.