ASHVILLE, Ohio — Fittingly, a bright season ended on a near-perfect day.
With sunny skies and 70-degree temperatures, the Eastern girls golf team had its historic 2015 campaign come to an end Tuesday after placing third at the Division II district championship held at Upper Lansdowne Golf Club in Pickaway County.
The Lady Eagles made their first-ever district appearance in six seasons as a varsity program, and the Green and Gold didn’t disappoint after finishing in the top-half of the six-team field. EHS also had two of the top-12 individual rounds and four of the top-25 scores overall in the 36-player event.
Eastern finished the day with a team tally of 414 points, which ended up being 36 strokes back of eventual-champion Waterford. The Lady Wildcats — who are making the program’s first state trip in only two years as a varsity program — posted a winning tally of 378.
Logan Elm was the runner-up with a 386, while West Union (420), North Adams (429) and Westfall (438) wrapped up the back-half of the field. Alex Gillette of Coal Grove will be joining Waterford at the state meet after earning district medalist honors with a 78 through 18 holes.
For third-year EHS coach Nick Dettwiller, it was tough to see such a memorable season come to an end. Then again, in appearing in the program’s first-ever district tournament, he still had no trouble producing a big smile.
“It’s really exciting to see the results after all of the work that these girls have put in. You always say that the hard work will pay off, but to actually see it — it just makes things a lot easier for everyone,” Dettwiller said. “I’m really proud of this group and what they have been able to accomplish. They are just a special group, I mean one of the best I’ve ever coached or been around.”
Freshman Kylee Tolliver led EHS with a 97, followed by junior Katelyn Edwards and senior Allie Grueser with respective rounds of 100 and 107. Sophomore Kaitlyn Hawk completed the team tally with a 110, while freshman Kathrine Ridenour also fired a 138.
With four of the five district competitors expected back next fall, the future appears to be bright for the Lady Eagle program. It also means the end of one extraordinary high school golf career
“This is a great message for our younger kids, to see that hard work does pay off. Hopefully today’s experience will make them even hungrier for more next year,” Dettwiller said. “My one senior, Allie, she’s been the epitome of what a team leader is supposed be this year. She does what she is supposed to do and the younger kids have taken notice. She’s just been an extension of myself in working with the younger kids, so that’s what is so special about making this first district trip.”
In having both the girls team and the boys team qualify for their first-ever district tournaments this fall, Dettwiller was truly humble in reflecting on how well things played out.
“It’s been a really special year for all of our golfers, and they will all have a lot of great memories to share — especially being the first groups to accomplish what they have,” Dettwiller said. “They’ve set the bar higher for these programs. I’m really proud of all of them, and they should be too.”
Waterford scores included McKenzie Dietz (85), Abigail Eichmiller (96), Ashley Offenberger (93), Liz Leach (106) and Brianna Hart (104).
Logan Elm scores included Amy Surratt (88), Rachel Pennington (85), Rachel Traverse (104), Lynne Dale (109) and Katey Surratt (131).
West Union scores included Alexandra Clark (100), DeAnna Caraway (103), Rayanna McFarland (110), Lindsey Daniel (107) and Sarah White (113).
North Adams scores included Jade Spriggs (95), Caitlin Young (111), Erin Newman (116), Amber Geeslin (210) and Kylee Applegate (107).
Westfall scores included Piper Lewis (108), Cierra Colahan (120), Lauren Martin (114), Emma Johnson (113) and Leah Soloman (103).
Savannah McCoy (98) of Peebles, Kelsey McDonald (102) of Huntington Ross, Veronica Olaker (105) and the Belpre duo of Alana DeLancey (98) and Madalynn Roby (113) posted the remaining individual scores at the district tournament.
Complete results of the 2015 Division II girls district golf tournament at Upper Lansdowne Golf Club are available on the web at baumspage.com
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.