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Highland girls golf team ends season in second place in state

11/1/2012 - West Side Leader
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By Sean Patrick

GRANGER — For a fourth-straight season, the Highland High School girls golf team took home the Suburban League title. The team finished 7-0 in dual matches in the league and won both the preseason and postseason tournaments.

“In dual matches, we were 10-0 [overall],” said head coach Mary Becker. “However, we play most of our matches in tournaments. The team earned first-place finishes in the JFK Candywood Invitational, the Suburban League pre- and postseason tournaments, the Medina County Invitational, the Turkeyfoot Invitational and the St. Angela-Merici Invitational. We earned second-place finishes in the Legends Invitational and the Midwest Classic Invitational, and third-place finishes in the Lady Panther Invitational and the Wash Jesuit Warrior Invitational.”

In addition, the Highland team won a sectional championship, placed third in the district and finished second in the Division I State Tennis Tournament, which took place Oct. 19-20 in Columbus.

“Our goal was to win a state championship. We did fall one stroke short, with Columbus Dublin Jerome edging us out for the state title, but we certainly have a lot to be proud of,” Becker said. “We had our best finish in a short team history and set many records along the way. We went into the tournament knowing that any one of five teams were good enough to win state. We went in ready to play, with our players playing at the top of their games. I am very proud of the way we played and very happy for Jessica Porvasnik and her well-deserved individual accomplishment.”

Becker said Porvasnik, one of two seniors on the team, had a stellar season.

“Jessica Porvasnik earned bragging rights as the best player in Ohio, winning the individual Division I State Championship with 68-72 medalist performance on the Ohio State University Gray course. Her day-one 68 was a course record, and her 140 two-day total tied a state record. For her performance, she was named First-Team All-Ohio,” the coach said. “Jessica was also First-Team All-Suburban League. Her scoring average was 71.2 for 18-hole matches and 35.3 for nine-hole matches. Jessica has verbally committed to attend Ohio State University on a full scholarship.”

The team’s other senior, Jessica McRae, also had “an outstanding season,” Becker stated.

“She had the second-lowest scoring average on the team of 76.9 for 18-hole matches and 36.7 for nine-hole matches,” she said. “Jessica was also First-Team All-Suburban League and earned Second-Team All-Ohio for her 72-79 performance in the state finals in Columbus. Jessica has verbally committed to Ohio University to continue her golf and academic career.”

According to Becker, both seniors “showed outstanding leadership.”

“Both were leaders by example,” she noted. “Both took interest in golf while in middle school and both are hard working, goal-oriented and talented young ladies, as well as outstanding students.”

With six players averaging scores below 90, Becker said the strength of this year’s team was its depth. She also said the team had a nice balance of experience.

“Our top six on the varsity team consisted of two seniors, Jessica Porvasnik and Jessica McRae; two juniors, Rachel Horvath and Karly Alexander; and two sophomores, Chloe McKinzie and Hallie Schuld,” she stated. “McRae, McKinzie, Porvasnik and Horvath were all returning letter winners.”

McKinzie finished the season with the team’s third-best scoring average at 78.5 for 18-hole matches and 39.0 for nine-hole matches.

“Chloe was also named to First-Team All-Suburban League,” the coach said. “Chloe has a great deal of talent and should compete for the top spot on our team next year.”

Becker said three additional golfers played key roles for the team this season.

“Junior Rachel Horvath was also named First-Team All-Suburban League. She averaged 83.8 for 18-hole matches and 42.3 for nine-hole matches. Rachel has loads of potential and should also compete for the top spot on next year’s team,” the coach stated. “Junior Karly Alexander (86.8 for 18-hole matches and 43.3 for nine-hole matches) and sophomore Hallie Schuld (89.5 for 18-hole matches and 48.2 for nine-hole matches) both made significant contributions to the varsity team. Karly may have been the biggest surprise, returning to golf this year after playing soccer her sophomore year, bringing enthusiasm and dedication to her golf game.”

Becker has coached the team for six years. This year, her assistant/junior varsity coach was Bonnie Gomez.

“We have a number of talented players returning next year, along with some good kids coming up from middle school,” Becker said. “Our goal will be to earn a return trip to the state tournament.”

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