By Chris McCarthy/Editor
The 2015 Glencoe High girls golf squad now stands alone among all previous GHS girls varsity sports teams.
The Lady Yellow Jackets shot a collective 494 score (32 over par) to win the 36-hole Class 1A-3A state championship on Tuesday (May 12) at Magnolia Grove in Mobile for the first girls state championship for GHS.
“This was a goal that our girls had, one that they prepared for all year,” said coach Jason Pierce. “The first thing you have to is make it [to state], and when you get there, anything can happen. Our girls displayed a lot mental toughness that you need with the good teams you’re going to face, especially Westbrook. They’re a really good team that we played a lot against during the season, but my kids were focused, showed a tremendous amount of fortitude and did what I asked them to do.”
Westbrook Christian finished as state runner-up with a 508 score, followed by Winfield (528) and Montgomery Academy (568).
Hope Bishop shot a combined 157 (13 over par) to finish second individually. Madison Cole took fifth place with a 164 score, followed by Lauren Cole (tied for ninth place, 173) and Madison Autwell (13th, 182).
Westbrook’s Hope Cone finished fourth (163) competing as an individual, followed by Ellie Porter (sixth, 167), Ella Lawley (seventh, 171), Ali Porter (tied for ninth, 173) and April Godsey (11th, 179).
Glencoe shot 246 on Monday to hold a five-stroke lead over the Lady Warriors. The Lady Yellow Jackets held off their Etowah County neighbors on Tuesday, shooting 248 to Westbrook’s 257.
“With the exception of Hope Cone, every one of my girls didn’t play well until the turn,” said Westbrook coach Misti Fairchild. “On the final day, Hope made the turn at one-over par. I’ve got a lot of young women who are very similar in their scores, and I had to chose four out of eight very talented players [for the state tournament].”
On the boy’s side, Glencoe’s Jack Sims finished as the Class 3A state runnerup with an even-par score of 144.
“We didn’t play perfect, but it’s always better to have a lead on Day 1 then play behind,” said Pierce. “I think we put ourselves in a good position. From a leadership standpoint, I was proud of how Hope stepped up. As far as a collective effort, I though the first day went really well with a five-stroke lead, which can evaporate in a hurry of you get in trouble.
“On Day 2, I told them I wanted something under 90, and M.L. and L.C. did that out of the 3 and 4 spots. Hope didn’t play as well as she did on Day 1, but Madison stepped up and bailed her out on Day 2. This group of seniors (Bishop, Autwell and Madison Cole) will be greatly missed, not only in performance form from a leadership standpoint.”
Pierce noted that having Silver Lakes as the Lady Yellow Jackets’ home course was a factor in their performance at state.
“Jason Calley and his staff really took care of us, and we were fortunate to practice and host sectionals there. Playing on Silver Lakes really helped us, especially on the green [at Magnolia Grove].”
Pierce also pointed out that Bishop and Sims had the best-ever individual performances for the GHS boys and girls golf programs.
“[Former Glencoe boy and girls golf coach] Wes Weems won a couple of state runner-up trophies, so he’s laid a good foundation for this program,” said Shields. “This is a historic day for Glencoe golf, and I couldn’t be more proud of my girls.”