Nicholas Mattson/Paso Robles Press
Paso Robles High School senior Mikayla Stone watches her chip roll toward the pin at Paso Robles Golf Club on Tuesday in a PAC 8 League dual match against San Luis Obispo.
Balanced team looks to improve over season
PASO ROBLES — The Bearcats bring a balanced squad to the greens this season, with Paso Robles High School seniors Mikayla Stone and Marie Perez leading a varsity girls golf team supported by juniors, sophomores, and freshmen.
Stone returns as the No. 1 golfer on the team, and has consistently hit in the 40s, including a day where she hit a 40 on the button.
“I’m really excited about Mikayla Stone,” Owens said. “I’ve been with the team for three years and watching her grow and evolve … it is a good time to be playing her best golf.”
On Tuesday, at the Paso Robles Golf Club against San Luis Obispo, Stone recovered from a triple bogey on the first hole to shoot a 44.
“I was very proud of her,” PRHS head coach Chris Owens said. “After six holes of not great golf, she grinded and finished strong. As a coach, that is what I live for. It is not how we start, it is how we finish.”
SLO did not falter, and took the round.
“[SLO] put a good round together,” Owens said. “They shot a 243, which is a good round. We shot a 271, and they got a few on us.”
Perez followed Stone up with a 53.
“She shot a 53, and that is a decent round,” Owens said. “We are still waiting for Marie to break into the 40s. She is hovering around that point, and it could be any day now.”
Getting ready for the season, the players took initiative to get on the course and stay sharp, according to Owens.
“All the girls started practice early and came out on their own,” Owens said. “I was very pleased when the girls came in for summer practice.”
Rounding out the team for the Bearcats is junior Kayla Williams, sophomore Kayla Hernandez, and freshmen Madison Homan and Josie Scruggs.
“I’m very excited about the young girls, the freshmen and sophomore,” Owens said.
Whenever young talent can fill roles on a small golf program, it gives a coach confidence in the future of the program and the pleasure of seeing the athletes grow over the years.
“Scruggs was involved in the First Tee program for a few years,” Owens said, “so she has been playing golf for a little while. As she matures, I can see her improving and moving up the ranks on the team.”
Homan, on the other hand, is as green as green gets, and was swept up by the sport and asked to join the team. Owens was happy to get her on board.
“She came out with no clubs, and just took to golf,” Owens said. “It took her two or three days. She is going to be a very good golfer.”
The team will battle through the courses as a team this season, and although the competition is tough for teams to make the CIF postseason, Stone and others have individual chances to make the postseason.
“Golf in the PAC 8 is a team and individual sport,” Owens said. “The ultimate goal is to make our team competitive in the league. On the other end, we want our girls to be competitive individually. We had two girls finish as All-PAC 8.”
Also excited about the team is the Paso Robles Women’s Golf Club, which gifted the PRHS golf team a check for $2,000 on Tuesday at PRGC.
“The women’s group here has been so gracious to the team and raising money for them,” Owens said. “This is an interesting sport. You don’t go into a gym or a weight room. You are out there for everyone to see. It is awesome to see these ladies supporting the young team.”
The Bearcats hosted the PAC 8 Mini Tournament on Thursday, where the rest of the PAC 8 met to compete on the PRGC course. Results of Thursday’s tournament were unavailable at press time.
Paso Robles heads to Santa Maria on Tuesday for a PAC 8 dual with Pioneer Valley High School at Black Lake Golf Course at 2:30 p.m.For the complete article see the 09-16-2016 issue.
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