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Stoll, Martens want to take Beaverton back to state

by: TIMES FILE PHOTO - Beavertons Gigi Stoll and the Beavers girls golf team is looking for its third trip to the 6A state meet.

Because of Gigi Stoll’s greatness, Beaverton girls’ golfer Kylie Martens sometimes gets lost in the Metro League’s chain of command.

The University of Arizona commit’s 270-yard drives, prodigal talent and possible LPGA career cast a larger than life shadow that can unintentionally conceal the team and individuals around her. Stoll is simply that talented.

But, make no bones about it. Martens can drive the ball soundly and putt precisley, while holding her own against the cream of the crop in 6A. She’s been an essential piece of the last two Beaver squads that reached the state tournament as a team, and head coach Donna Smoot believes Martens will again operate as a driving force behind Beaverton’s state chances.

“She’s going to be a huge asset to the team this year,” said Smoot of Martens. “I think she’s one of the top-five individuals in Metro, and she’ll do really well at state.”

Martens is a player who Smoot said has gotten better and better each year by dedicating herself to the game and keeping at a sport she started as a freshman. Now a senior leader for the Beavers, Martens has state-qualifier talent, even if Beaverton can’t clinch a state berth as a team.

Smoot noted Martens is a consistent player who hits a strong, straight ball, and she’s put in time on her short game through hours upon hours on the putting green to limit her scores.

Once a player who shot in the 90s as a freshman, Martens is capable of shooting in the 70s on a regular basis in her final season at Beaverton.

“She’s got a great work ethic,” said Smoot of Martens. “She gets to practice early and stays late. She plays golf all year-round, and she’s just such a hard worker. She loves to play the game.”

Stoll doesn’t touch a golf club from November through early March, choosing instead to pour all of her time into the hardwood. Yet, Monday, Stoll shot one under par (71) at Riverside Golf Club last Monday in her first round of golf since leading the Beaver girls’ basketball team to a fifth-place state finish. As a team, Beaverton took fourth (195) with Martens taking fifth overall individually. A year after being upset by Forest Grove’s Hannah Swanson at the 6A state championships, Stoll is on a mission to prove that second place won’t do in her eyes.

“I think she’s going to come back and want that first place even more this year,” said Smoot. “It always helps to have a player of Gigi’s caliber on the team. That doesn’t come along very often.”

Beaverton lost only one senior from last year’s team that went to the 6A state tournament, and placed fifth on the wings and swings of Stoll and Martens. In fact, the Beavers have been to state the past two seasons, and with a slew of top-five players back, the hope is Beaverton can jockey its top-tier talent to another high finish this spring.

“Knowing what the possible result is at state, that’s a big plus for the kids,” said Smoot. “You play out in the rain and the mud and get to play in the final tournament of the year with all these top golfers. It’s exciting for the kids. They get to see what they work toward all year.”

Sophomore Marlene Spalding is the Beavers’ No. 3 player who’s fairly new to golf, having played just one high school season. Fellow sophomore Madison Kirby is another returner for Beaverton,

“She hits the ball well and she’s strong,” said Smoot of Kirby. “I think the more experience she gets, she’s just going to get better and better as all the kids will.

Freshman Anna Ricci is a newcomer who Smoot said “will be a great asset to the team”.

“I always have expectations of finishing near the top,” continued Smoot. “Regardless of what kind of players you have, if the kids work hard enough and want to improve, you can always work with that. If you have two or three key players and a couple that have some experience, you can help improve, motivate them and get them to work as a team.”

Santina Sisson is another freshman who didn’t play at Riverside, but is a hard worker who enjoys playing the game and relishes improvement, according to Smoot. Claire Roman is brand new to golf, yet has the potential to be a varsity contributor.

“It’s awesome to have new kids out because we don’t have a lot of kids try out for golf,” said Smoot. “We like to keep everybody that wants to come out and play. They all work hard. They all want to be there ,and they want to improve. So, if they don’t play varsity this year, they’ll be there the next couple years.”




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