Maidens head to state golf tourney
Ganado golf coach David Grewe has taken the realistic approach to his Maidens' chances at the UIL Class 1A state golf tournament.
"We're probably about fourth, fifth or sixth from what I've seen in the past and from regional scores," Grewe said.
The Maidens will be teeing it up for the sixth time at state when they tee off Monday and Tuesday at the Morris Williams Golf Course in Austin.
Ganado's last trip to the state tournament came in 1998 when they finished seventh in the Class 2A division. They also finished seventh in 1994 in Class 2A, while claiming the 2A state title in 1981 and 1982 along with the Class 1A title in 1979.
Grewe knows the field could be stacked against his squad this year, especially with the defending state champion Martins Mill and third-place finisher Baird back in the field.
But still, Grewe knows his team has provided him with plenty of excitement and success this season.
In fact, just to get to the state tournament the Maidens had to overcome a three-team regional playoff to earn one of the two berths from Region IV-1A. Ganado shared the regional title with Port Aransas and Yorktown and finished second in the team playoff to earn a trip to state along with Port Aransas, which won the playoff.
"I'd never seen anything like that," Grewe said of the regional finish. "It was a real thrill. In fact, it was almost a four-team playoff as Flatonia finished just a shot back."
Grewe said his team had an opportunity to win the playoff on the first playoff hole, but his final player missed a putt that allowed Port Aransas to take the top spot.
Ganado has pinned its success on just four players this season instead of the usual five, so every score counts.
Senior Shelly Stancik leads the team and is joined by juniors Ashley Tegeler and Jay Salazar, along with freshman Leah Staff. Leah's sister Mallory was the last Ganado player to reach the state tournament, playing as an individual qualifier in 2006.
Martins Mill returns three players from last year's state title team that coasted to an 87-shot win over Wellington. Making its sixth straight trip to state, Martins Mill posted rounds of 353-320-673 to win last year's title.
Meanwhile, Baird is making its 14th trip to state since 1985 and returns four players from last year's third-place team. Also returning from last year's field is Iraan that finished fifth and returns three players from that team.
"It's going to be a very competitive field," said Grewe.
Other teams in the eight-team field include Memphis, Garden City and Simms Bowie.
"I hope we do well, you never know," said Grewe. "The girls are pumped about going and if they can just shoot their best scores will be OK."
While his boys' team finished fourth at regional and missed on a state berth, they will have a single representative in Jacob George.
George is the first Indians player to reach the state tournament since Clayton Hayden, who finished 10th, in 2002.
"He's been nice and consistent all year," said Grewe. "If he can put two days back-to-back he'll be right in there."
Also competing in the Class 1A girls tournament as a medalist will be Woodsboro's Kasie Fierova.
In the Class 2A tournament at the Roy Kizer Golf Course, Rice Consolidated will be competing for the boys team title, while East Bernard's Addie Bradley will be after the girls individual title.