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Juniors Molly Hagen and Kylee Nutt are players to watch on this year's girls golf squad at Scappoose High.

SUBMITTED PHOTO: JOE GIRRES - Members of the Scappoose High School girl's golf team enjoy a nice day on the golf links. The goal may not be to get on the LPGA golf tour, but members of the Scappoose High School girls golf team simply enjoy getting out on the links for a competitive round of golf.

Keeping the team motivated week to week is golf coach Joe Girres.

Describing how golf works in the Northwest Oregon Conference (NWOC), Girres said, "All the girls teams go to the same event. So we're all playing against each other at one time a week, as opposed to just matching up with another school."

While Girres noted that some schools don't have a golf program, he said, "We are blessed in Scappoose. I believe that we have a lot of young ladies who are willing to try something new. Therefore, I've benefited greatly. We usually have between 10 and 15 girls come out for golf."

Girres continued, "We have a large team compared to others in the league. St. Helens is close behind us. They usually have about the same amount. A big school like Wilsonville only has three girls this year, whereas in the past, they've had over 20. But understandably so this year, with so much going on, it's hard for coaches to do any recruiting."

Girres' team this year consists of 13 golfers.

Girres takes his team each Tuesday to various golf courses. He described Glendoveer, for example, as very accommodating, but he noted that some golf courses won't permit the Oregon School Activities Association to have events there, perhaps because of OSAA-mandated protocols.

"In our case, we are so thankful that Dave Lawrence, the head coach at St. Helens High, pretty much takes care of the entire golf range that is next to Grace Baptist Church in Warren," Girres said. "He puts in a lot of time there, mowing and developing greens for us to putt on."

Top golfers on this year's squad are juniors Molly Hagen and Kylee Nutt. Girres describes them as No. 1 and No. 2 on his team. As freshmen, the two made it to regionals.

"This year, they started off really well, about where I expected them to be," Girres said. "We finished in third place on Tuesday, April 27, and it was our best showing thus far. But Molly led the way with 39 points, and Kylee was right behind her with 36 points. We're getting better — they are the two that I would definitely give credit to thus far."

Girres added, "We have a couple of up and comers who have been playing varsity to this point. Their scoring is going up each week. One of them is Raegan Witt, a sophomore, and Kelsey Holcomb (sophomore). Both are showing great signs of improvement and a willingness to work incredibly hard, which is always a joy as a coach."

At press time, Scappoose was in fourth place in the NWOC.

While he admits it's a "bummer" this year without the chance to participate in league playoffs, Girres still hopes players will improve as the season winds down.

"We have some caching up to do," he said. "But our girls are competing at everyday practice against each other, and they're improving each week, which is what any coach would want."

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