MV women’s golf: It’s a comeback story


Jacque Wilson, Staff

There is no denying that the MV Lady Rams golf team has seen some rough days in the past.  But things are looking up as this year many milestones were accomplished.

“Last year our lone highlight was coming in 2nd place at a match vs Carbondale and Herrin.  This year, we finished 3rd in Conference, had two all conference players (Caroline Hall and Jacque Wilson), placed 2nd at multiple events and even won a match over two of our South 7 opponents,” said coach Kerry Hammond.

Aside from on-course victories, the team has had other triumphs as well.

Coach Hammond shared, “The team has struggled with numbers in the past.  Last year we had 5 girls on the team. This year we have 9!”  She also mentioned in years past there have been as few as one or even no players on the team.

“Next year we will have three seniors leading us, with one junior and three sophomores as well,” Hammond stated.

With seven of the players returning, two seniors will be leaving the team- Jenna Gilbert and Lexi Rudder-Hartnell.

Gilbert shed light on her four year experience in the program.

“I have had probably the best possible high school golf experience,” said Gilbert.  “I am extremely grateful for the amazing coach and team I have had.”

In regards to senior night, Gilbert stated it was “bittersweet.”

“I was so happy… I felt accomplished, grateful, and excited.  But I couldn’t help but be sad.”

In regards to the future, Gilbert will not be furthering her golf career at the collegiate level but she does intend on golfing for recreation and using golf as a way to “get in” in the business world.

Junior Reagan Schmidt shared her experience on the team as well.

“As a new player for the team this year, the season went amazingly.  My coach helped me a lot as well as my teammates,” Schmidt stated.

A common theme arose throughout the team: the importance of teamwork.

“I absolutely love the camaraderie that I see with the girls golf team.  They truly enjoy each other’s company, encourage each other when they are having a bad day and celebrate when one succeeds.  Golf is thought of as an ‘individual’ sport but there is a team component that is priceless,” stated Coach Hammond.

Schmidt stated, “I hope to see my teammates succeed next year as well as me”  demonstrating just how much this team cares for one another.

Schmidt also went on to say, “I hope, along with all of my teammates, that we can continue to make a big impact as seniors next year, like Jenna and Lexi did, and grow the program for years to come.”

Coach Hammond has ambitious goals for next year and hopes to recruit some new players.  If you are interested in women’s’ golf, please reach out to Coach Hammond.  Her office can be found  in the women’s PE locker room.