Last year was a historic season for the West High girls’ golf team.
The Women of Troy advanced to the state meet for the first time in school history, placing fifth.
Now, the 2015 campaign has arrived and West is ready for a potential return to state in Class 5A. Four starters are back in senior Allye Boardman, juniors Avery Kout and Mackenzi Marsh and sophomore Jordan Amelon. Two other starting spots are up for grabs, but that foursome is perhaps the best in the area.
“They can all count on each other to come through on those good rounds when they need it,” West coach Mary Goodfellow said. “We had never gone to state. You have that goal, but last year to actually get there…
“And then we had some of our best rounds at state, so that’s something to bring in to this season and raises their confidence. Part of my job, part of golf, is to get their confidence up and play that mental game.”
Marsh shot the best nine-hole average of any returning starter for the Women of Troy. Marsh had an average of 45.5 in 2014. Kout averaged a 47.4, Amelon 48.6 and Boardman 53.
Nine-hole and 18-hole meets are split about in half during the season schedule.
“We’re going to be a strong team,” Marsh said. “I feel like we’re a little young, but we have a lot of good returning players.”
West won’t have to wait long for its first challenge of the spring. Goodfellow’s club takes on Cedar Rapids Xavier Tuesday at Brown Deer Golf Course in Coralville. Xavier is the defending state champion in Class 4A.
Familiarity — specifically between longtime friends and playing partners Boardman, Kout and Marsh — will help.
“Us three have grown up together playing golf in tournaments before high school, so we’ve known each other for a long time,” Kout said. “It makes it easier to help each other out.
“When you see each other between holes, you know how they’re doing just by their look. It gives you a little more confidence. ‘OK, they’re doing well. I can do well, too.’ “
Kout, Marsh and Amelon were meet medalists at least one time last year. Boardman was often in the mix, as well.
There are no questions about leadership or who will take the point.
“I’ve been on the team for the longest, so I feel like I can be the anchor,” Boardman said. “They look up to me, and I look up to them just as much. Some of the younger ones are even better than me. We’re all on the same page. I’m really excited for the season and want to see how we’re going to do.”
The trip to the state meet at Elmwood Country Club in Marshalltown proved to be unparalleled for the Women of Troy.
Two years in a row isn’t out of the question.
“We know we can do it now,” Goodfellow said, “so that gives us a lot of hope.”
Reach Matt Cozzi at firstname.lastname@example.org or 319-887-5409, and follow him on Twitter at @matt_cozzi.