With only three players on the team, the Smithfield-Selma High’s Girls Varsity Golf Team ended the season as the Two Rivers 3A Conference Regular Season Champions. Consisting of three rather fresh faces to the sport, Parker Watson, Natalie Hill, and Maggie Riley held a nearly perfect record throughout the season.
According to their coach, Tony Duca, the trio worked hard and were determined to be real competitors on the course, regardless of their small team.
“Winning the conference with only three players has been amazing,” said Hill, who finished the season as the 9th ranked golfer.
“I am very proud of my team for winning conference,” said Watson. “We have worked extremely hard and dedicated a lot of time this season at practice and in matches and it all paid off with our championship.”
While the season proved challenging both mentally and physically, the small Spartan Team was determined to work hard and improve on each match.
“The thing I am most proud of in these girls is how they continuously want to get better and improve on their previous matches,” said Duca.
Coach Duca went on to explain how emotional the season has been for the three, but that their drive to be better has always been their motivation.
“Their desire to always want to get better is, in my opinion, one of the biggest reasons for our success,” he added.
Looking back on the season, Hill, a sophomore, recalls how emotional the matches were for the three players.
“It was stressful at times if you were shooting bad at one hole.” said Hill, “I found myself many times having to move ahead and forget about it and just focus on the next one.”
The trio ended the regular season all ranked within the top ten while Watson finished the conference as the number one golfer and was awarded Player of the Year. Riley finished the season as the 5th ranked golfer in the conference. Hill rounded out the season ranked 9th golfer in the conference. While all three set their own personal goals this season, they all agree that a “team” is only a number.
“We only had three girls on our team which happens to be the least amount of girls needed,” said Watson. “No one expected us to be as good as we were but we ended with an 8-1-1 season.”
Riley added, “Our hard work paid off. We were a small team and we were determined to be a strong competitor on the course.”
All three of the Lady Spartans qualified and competed in the regional tournament at Wedgewood Golf Course recently; Watson was the only one on the team to qualify for states.