Girls golf: Lady Falcons swinging for title
When nothing less than a state berth is acceptable coming into every season, the overall quality of a program can be taken for granted, but that, along with constant pressure, never seem to faze the Clear Lake girls golf team.
The Lady Falcons captured their 12th straight District 24-5A championship this spring, and then took top honors at the 5A Region III Tournament on April 18-19 at the Eagle Pointe Course in Mont Belvieu for third consecutive state berth, and fifth in seven years.
Next up for Clear Lake, which is led by senior Courtney Ferguson (Oklahoma State), is the University Interscholastic League State Tournament on May 12-13 at the Jimmy Clay Course in Austin.
This will be Ferguson's third state tournament — she didn't go as a sophomore, the second for junior Taylor Stockton and sophomore Kristen Bush, and a first on the big stage for junior Bristol Gunderson and sophomore Cassie Weyland.
"The experience will help, and I play against a lot of these players outside of high school," Ferguson said. "It's going to be tough competition, and we're hoping to do well as a team, and also individually."
Ferguson will take summer classes at Oklahoma State and get a jump on her freshman season, and she also plans to enjoy her final high school event.
"I just loved everything about Oklahoma State on my visits and I can't wait to play there," she said. "But before that, it's a great honor to represent Clear Lake one more time at state."
Ferguson placed fourth and the Lady Falcons finished sixth as a team last year at state.
Stockton and Bush will also use last year's state appearances to their advantage.
"It will be nice knowing what to expect going in," Stockton said. "You never quite know what's going to be happening around you until you've been there, so we're looking to play even better."
Bush adds: "It was the biggest crowd I had played before at the time, so it was a little intimidating, but it won't be so much this time."
The top four 5A girls teams from 2010 are back including defending champion Austin Westlake, runner-up Allen, third place The Woodlands and El Paso Eastwood, with Cinco Ranch, San Antonio Reagan and San Antonio Churchill also in the field.
Among the 5A medalists are Clear Creek's Amanda Mire and Langham Creek's Kirby Kramer.
Among the top individuals are Ferguson, and Cinco Ranch's Abby Newton, who edged Ferguson by one stroke (148-149) at regionals.
"It's all the usual suspects," Clear Lake coach Karolyn Criado said. "Even though these are different teams, the programs know each other, and it's always an outstanding competition at state.
"Our players work so hard to keep our tradition going, and we're very excited about some of our younger players who on the way up."
The Class 5A girls and boys tee off at 8 a.m. on May 12-13 at Jimmy Clay.
Criado directed the Lady Falcons to a state title in 2007.
Local Advertising by PaperG