Crook County should be strong next year as they graduate just one player from current varsity team

The Crook County Cowgirls went into the 2017 golf season with high expectations.

After all, the team had two returning veterans from a team which had placed second at state in 2016.LON AUSTIN/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Abbigail Papke sinks a putt at Meadow Lakes Golf Course during the past season. Papke is the lone senior to graduate from this year's Cowgirl varsity team.

However, the remainder of the team had limited varsity experience.

The team showed improvement early in the season but was unable to get back to the success of the previous year.

When the Cowgirls finished third at the regional tournament, they missed out on a return trip to state as a team.

Still, junior Macy Goehring had a solid performance at regionals and qualified for the state tournament, where she finished in 16th place overall with rounds of 99-93 — 192.

Goehring returns next season along with all but one of the Cowgirl varsity team.

However, the Cowgirls' lone senior will be missed.

Abigail Papke had gone to state each of her first three years at Crook County. Papke, who led the Cowgirls in many of their tournaments during the regular season, was poised to return to state for a fourth consecutive year after the first day of the regional tournament, but a pair of bad holes on day two dropped her out of contention.

Still, Papke had a successful career at Crook County and is moving on to play golf collegiately next season.

Meanwhile, Goehring and the remainder of the Cowgirl team should be even stronger next year, as the team returns four girls with significant varsity experience and some other players who competed in at least one varsity tournament.

In addition, the Cowgirls had a young but talented JV team.

With more depth than the team has had in several years, expect the Cowgirls to come back strong next season.

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