EDITOR’S NOTE: In the “Senior Spotlight,” The Durango Herald will publish personal stories from athletes, coaches and teams affected by the cancellation of spring sports in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic. To share a story, email sports editor John Livingston at email@example.comThe Durango High School girls golf program started the season with a record number of student athletes.
Thirty-four girls came out for the team this spring. A real positive in the season lost to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The team had a blended group of varsity athletes including seniors Grace Meyer, Claudia Luthy, Liana Bygel and Avery Leimbach along with talented juniors Lilly Tichi, Lily Longan and freshmen newcomers Zayda Mestas, Claire Paul and Natasha Wolcott.
I was feeling very optimistic given the talent and diversity among our athletes this year. We had all of the seniors looking to have some fun at the end of their careers balanced with the young guns while being led by a two-time state qualifier in Tichi.
The bright spots included All State Academic honors for Meyer (4.07 grade-point average), Luthy (4.12), Bygel (4.11), Longan (4.12) and Tichi (4.01).
All the seniors have plans to move on to college.
Led by Meyer, Bygel and Jade Pruett (4.21), the team had formed a bonding circle which entailed all of the athletes sitting in a circle to start each practice. A daily topic was chosen, and each athlete would have a response. There were no caps put on the topics – anything from your favorite Netflix show to what upset you through the day to personal relationships were on the table.
From a competition standpoint, the future looks bright for the Demons. With a large number of young student-athletes, I remain optimistic. Players such as Summer Bonner, Mia Holden, Abby Hunt and Tatum Bergl could all step up next year. We also had a big development squad led by a group of hockey players we affectionately named the “Happy Gilmores.”
We have several of the athletes very serious about the sport of golf. The positive of the setback this spring is they should be even more motivated when we get back to playing golf next year.
I have heard that Tichi has broken 80 in a round this spring and Walcott, Mestas and Paul have all posted some solid rounds.
Kirk Rawles is the head golf coach at Durango High School. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.