Sports

Oly girl golfers up to par

Olympic’s Lady Trojan golf team made quite a stir at this year’s Olympic League tournament.

The Trojans sent three girls on to the next round of the postseason tournament. Senior Ruthy Parsons, junior Amanda Snyder and sophomore Shalyn Hersel all qualified to move on to the sub-regional tournament on Monday at Fort Lewis Golf Course, a course voted in the top 10 of military golf courses by Travel and Leisure magazine. Results were unavailable at press time.

Parsons shot a 102, just one stroke shy of a state qualification. Snyder finished with a 106 and Hersel also advanced.

All of the stress these girls are under to perform is more than some people can handle. So how do they keep from cracking under the pressure? How do they stay interested in golf for the whole season?

“Sometimes we hit balls at coach Ericson to see if he can catch them,” Snyder said.

As scary and dangerous as that might sound, Ericson said it is all in good fun. The girls said they believe the key to good golf is to “stay positive” and more importantly, “have fun.” An odd way the girls do this is to perform a couple pre-match rituals.

“Sometimes we do silent cheers,” said No. 1 golfer Parsons.

Another group tradition before every match is to pass around a brown paper sack of “pineapple tidbits,” then reach in and rub the lucky pineapple. This little tradition was set in motion by greatly missed senior golfer Jordan Thompson, who was unable to finish the season due to a full schedule.

“The pineapple thing was gross, but the girls thought it was funny, so we did it,” Ericson said of the tradition.

These crazy traditions do not seem to have hurt the team any, with three girls going on to the sub-regional tournament, Oly is hoping for a couple of trips out of the next tournament.

It is easy to see the fruits of these girls labor now, but where did their passion for the sport start?

The girls have all been playing golf since their respective freshman years and have learned a lot from their coaches since. Parsons and Synder played at Olympic from Fairview Junior High, while last year, Hersel played golf for Tim Costello at Klahowya. Although she is a newcomer she is far from a stranger, having already formed some tight bonds with her new teammates and coach.

Snyder says her first round of golf with her dad and cousin was the kindling that fired up her passion for golf. She loves the sport and believes that the key to a good score is “having fun.” 

Parsons is well on her way to becoming a collegiate golfer and says she owes most of her skill as a golfer to him.

“He pretty much taught us how to play,” she said.

Parsons also said she does not have to make up any games to stay out of the lull of golf because she “looks forward to practicing.”

These three girls have found a special spot in their coach’s heart. Ericson said he was “very fortunate to have coached such great kids. The girls are outstanding students and people.”

He has tried to teach the girls that the best way to play golf is to “play smart, give it your best on every shot and try to control what we do, and not worry so much about the other girls. We can’t play defense in golf. We can’t tackle our opponents after they make a birdie or something.”

The girls are very excited and anxious for subs. Ericson knows his team will perform.

“If we give it our best, and still get beat, that’s golf,” he said. “But these girls are mentally tough and I am anticipating a very good showing from them.”

— Caleb Williams is a senior at Olympic High School.

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