It shouldn’t really have been a surprise that Lake Central qualified for the state tournament out of the competitive Lafayette Jeff Regional field.
The Indians have been throwing out low numbers all season long, and they’re playing with a lot of confidence at the most opportune time of the season.
“I think consistency is a big factor, but also we all pitch in as a team,” said junior Julia Beggs, who shot an 85 at the regional. “Kylie (Shoemake) is real good, sometimes she’ll throw in a good number, and Kiana (Jongsma) as well.
“But we all put in decent scores that helps us as a team instead of having one person that carries the team. We all chip in and make it work.”
L.C. coach Chris Rossiano said it’s been a team effort all season. Jongsma fired an 81 at the regional, but the next three were all within four strokes with Shoemake at 83 and Allison Onest at 85. Amanda Blais, at No. 5, carded a 90.
“If you have a consistent effort from five girls, that’s reassuring,” Rossiano said. “It takes a load off your shoulders.
“If the top two have a bad day, they know the rest of the team is there to pick them up. You don’t see that a lot in golf, especially in girls golf.”
A pleasant surprise has been the contribution from Beggs, who just started playing golf as a sophomore. She’s been a quick study.
“I kind of picked it up,” Beggs said. “It’s exciting. It’s kind of nerve-wracking not having experience underneath my belt, though.”
Rossiano said she’s lowered her scores by double digits.
“She was an unpolished gem last year,” he said. “She’s going to get better. She’s worked extremely hard the last year. She’s high 70’s to mid 80s every round. It’s pretty impressive.”
Now, the Indians have a goal to finish in the top five at the state finals Friday and Saturday at the Legends Golf Club in Franklin.
Rossiano said the goal is to be under 650 total score for the 36 holes.
“Who knows?” he said. “There are obviously great teams down there, so that number may be so far away from medaling, but it may also put us right there.”
Jongsma and Shoemake qualified as individuals last year, and the team is going down to play the course on Thursday, too.
Shoemake, a junior, said it will help knowing the course as well as she does, but it was a team goal for the entire team to make the trip this time.
“It’s really wonderful because we’re a close family, so all of us experiencing it together makes it more special,” she said.