TRAVERSE CITY – Traverse City Central girls golf has qualified for the state finals once again.
The Trojans finished second at regionals last week and the top three teams from each region qualify.
Most of the Trojan golfers have played in the state championship before and say the tournament is all about being consistent and staying relaxed.
“Consistency is what we’re really looking for,” said senior Grace Maitland. “We have a lot of girls shooting in the 80s and 90s on our team and I think that if we can keep it that way that it’ll be good.”
“I’ve been to states twice before and it’s kind of just like a normal tournament. Like you have to think of it that way or else you’re really just going to struggle mentally,” said junior Sydney Rademacher.
Sophomore Evelyn Nowicki was on the team last season but was not a part of the lineup that competed in the state championship tournament. She will be competing this time around and said some of the older players who have played in the state finals before have helped her feel prepared.
“They know a lot about the game and it just really helps me that I can trust them and ask them as many questions as I need and not feel uncomfortable about it.”
This will be the 18th time coach Lois McManus has taken here team to states. She’s also gone to the state championship with individual players four other times.
“I’m the fortunate one because I’m the one that has the opportunity to do all of these things because they give me the opportunity to do that. So I’m the lucky one,” McManus said.
“I love this team. I think they’re all super supportive,” said junior McKenzie McManus. “Our improvement is really what matters the most. I think everyone has improved so much and everyone deserves what we got with going to states.”
Joining Traverse City Central at the state tournament will be Traverse City West junior Ainslee Hewitt.
Hewitt shot an 87 at regionals and is one of 18 Division 1 players to qualify as individuals for the state tournament. The Titans qualified as a team the last two years so Hewitt experienced the state tournament as a freshman and sophomore. This is her first time qualifying as an individual.
“Going as a team you have your girls right by you. You can support one another walking on the golf course and I think as an individual I’m going to miss that. But even though they’re not there with me I know spiritually they’re going to be supporting me,” Hewitt said.
“To see what she’s done in the last three years is really amazing. It’s all because of her hard work,” said TC West head coach Karl Gagnon. “I just sit back and watch her and help her a little bit and let her play her game. She knows her game pretty good.”
Hewitt will look to become Traverse City West’s fourth individual champion in the last six years. Anika Dy won three straight individual championships with the Titans from 2016-2018.
While Hewitt and Traverse City Central’s team are the only local qualifiers for Division 1, plenty of other local players and teams qualified in other divisions.
Petoskey qualified as a team in Division 2, as did Cheboygan in Division 3 and Mt. Pleasant Sacred Heart, Remus Chippewa Hills, Traverse City St. Francis and Shepherd in Division 4.
Big Rapids’ Kiali Stout and Ludington’s Emma McKinley qualified as individuals in Division 3. Clare’s Mara Pomerville and Manistee’s Kendal Waligorski were individual qualifiers in Division 4.
© 2023 - 910 Media Group