Cowgirls expect to challenge for district golf title

Team returns most of last year's team that finished a close third at district to Summit and Bend who finished one-two at state

by: LON AUSTIN/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Jo Beth Hamon tees off on the fourth hole at Eagle Crest Golf Course on Monday.  Hamon shot an 89 for the day.

The Crook county High School girls golf team looks to contend for a state playoff spot again this season.
   Last year the Cowgirls were leading Bend by five strokes with nine holes to play at the district championships for second place and the right to go to state, but came up just short when Bend managed to overcome the deficit.
   Summit went on to win both district and state while Bend finished in second at each and Crook County was left to wonder what might have been.
   The Cowgirls look just as strong this year and with district on their home course at Meadow Lakes hope to move up in the standings this year.
   "I think it is going to be a dog fight," said Head Coach Grant Patterson. "It is going to be a battle between Bend and Summit and us again. Summit lost a lot of players from last years team, but they still have some girls that can play. My expectation is to win district and go to state and I think the team goal is not only to go to state but to try to earn a trophy at state."
   The Cowgirls return a solid nucleus from a year ago led by Jo Beth Hamon who qualified for state a year ago and finished 10th making the all-state team. Other returning varsity performers include Sarah Crofcheck, who is challenging Hamon for the team's number one spot, Rachel Kelso and Cami Williams. Haley Cristensen is expected to move up from last year's JV team and freshman Kersey Wilcox is currently golfing in the team's third spot.
   "We've got 10 girls out," said Patterson. "We've only got a couple of sophomores, Wilcox is a freshman and Crofcheck is a junior, the rest are seniors so we definitely could use some girls."
   Last year district was at Bend's home course at Bend Golf and Country Club while the Cowgirls have the home course advantage this season.
   "Well if you call Meadow Lakes and advantage," laughed Patterson. "Knowing that the water is there is almost as bad as knowing that it's there. But I think the girls will do fine. They have some experience. The girls are going out and playing a lot more. They are playing on the course and they have a great attitude."