BELDING – Having to play in the O-K Blue Conference is tough, Belding golf coach Doug Anderson said.
“The Blue has always been difficult for us,” he said.
Fortunately, Tuesday was a chance to get away from the Blue, and the Redskins took advantage with a 207-217 win over Ionia at Ridgeview Golf Course.
“Pretty encouraging,” Anderson said. “Mackenzie, that was her best round of the year, and Arianna’s. We still need some work on the short game. But all in all, a pretty positive outing.”
“Mackenzie” is Mackenzie Dahl, who led the Redskins with a 43.
“She struggled early in the season,” Anderson said of Dahl. “We just now got her back into a pretty comfortable groove, which is synonymous with last year. We have to take her down the stretch and push her. She went to the state finals last year and she finished 45th out of 90.”
Finishing second on Belding’s team was Arianna Leppink who shot a 49.
“We struck a chord with her (Leppink) from a golf swing standpoint,” Anderson said. “She’s feeling more comfortable. She was ill at the jamboree at Calvin Christian. Had she been there we wouldn’t have finished last. We had to take a score of 63, and she would have finished 10 shots better. We need her.”
MaryRose Jakeway shot a 55 and freshman Alyviah Mason carded a 60 to round out the Redskin scorers.
“Alyviah was supposed to play a JV match (Monday) and when Arianna was ill (for an O-K Blue jamboree) she was yanked up,” Anderson said. “She came in with the third-lowest score. I think that’s going to help us down the road to finish up the O-K Blue Conference. She’s going to be a good four-to-six on the team.”
Ionia was led by Lauren Fuller with a 49. Abby Talbot added a 55, Jessa Delo carded a 56 and Erika Ketchum shot a 57.
Getting the win over the Bulldogs was huge, Anderson noted.
“I think anytime you can chalk up a win it’s going to create some enthusiasm,” he said. “I saw it when they left. I hope that sparks some enthusiasm for (today’s) jamboree at Scott Lake.”
Oh yeah, those jamborees with the rest of the Blue.
“Without using any alibis, we’re playing against some city schools, and we’re a rural golf team,” Anderson said. “We struggle with numbers, and we struggle with the competition we get. I like it. I don’t always like finishing fifth, sixth or seventh, but that’s the nature of the beast. We’re the smallest in the conference. We hang in there. I think they play more golf than us.”