For Canby girls' golf team, the road ahead is clear
Last year's Canby girls' golf team did not have a noteworthy year. On paper, anyways. A shortage of available players kept the team from being able to post its scores. This year however, things will be different. With a full varsity roster and a few junior varsity golfers, Canby looks to compete with the best in the league.
It won't be easy though. Canby's girls' team is extremely young. Five of its seven athletes are freshman, and the two that are not are sophomores. Still, the teams head coach, Terry Bailey, is incredibly high on the team's potential. Once her athletes get done with their winter sports, Bailey plans on getting them on to the course to hone their skills.
"This year I have a lot of dancers, so they're missing practice because of state so it's been a little difficult," Bailey said. "I'm hoping this next week after dance is over we'll be able to hit, get back on the practice path. I have a lot of potential in these young athletes here, a lot of potential."
One thing the team has going for it this year is familiarity with the sport, and each other. Freshmen Sarah Patton, Elizabeth Krauss, McKenna Moore, and Ainsley Beck all played junior golf with each other, and sophomores Gabby Holmberg and Mia Salisbury return to the fold. The seventh player, freshman Hannah Hughes is someone that Bailey is keen to see in the starting lineup.
"She's going to be a force to be reckoned with," Bailey said. "She's got a beautiful swing, she's got that determination and she really wants to be good. I'm really anxious for the Gabby-Hannah duo to see how that's going to play out over the next few years."
The team will face stern competition in the 6A Special District-2, particularly against defending state champion West Linn. St. Mary's Academy and Lake Oswego will also present tough outings over the course of the season, but Bailey is confident in the raw talent that her girls possess. And if this season is a strong launching point, Bailey believes the future to be bright, particularly with a promising eighth grade prospect down the road.
"I'd like to see them, those four or five core girls with the new one coming in next year, we could really do something special if we can get them working and they stick with it," Bailey said. "That's what I want, for them to have fun, enjoy the game, and teach them the game. They all like it, they're all really having fun, and I'm very, very excited for the first time in a long time about this group of girls that I have."
As part of the training regimen, the team lifts weights on Fridays to keep themselves strong physically. It is a part of Bailey's strategy to keep her team efficient and mentally ready on the course.
"I'm a firm believer that the stronger you are physically, the stronger you are mentally," Bailey said. "When you're out there climbing those hills, you're tired and getting fatigued. Two of the girls yesterday had not played 18 holes, ever. They got pretty tired towards the end. You keep that physical strength up, it's going to help you mentally and you're going to swing better."
And for Bailey, the promise of this team is something refreshing. It has been a long while since the girls head coach was this amped about her prospects, and it is showing.
"I am very excited and positive about this group of girls," Bailey said. "The athletic director did say it's the most he's seen me smile in a couple of years since he's been here."