Simpson made big impact this fall
It's been a long and interesting ride for North Putnam senior Alyssa Simpson.
The Cougars' lone golfer entered the 2006 season hoping to get back to the regional after having made it in her junior year.
She ended the season having made a trip to the IHSAA girls' golf state finals at the Legends of Indiana in Franklin.
And although she made a first-round exit on Friday after tying for 65th place with a score of 87, it can't be denied that Simpson accomplished a lot this fall.
In her first match of the season, a three-way encounter with Southmont and Seeger, Simpson earned medalist honors with a score of 41.
Just weeks later, she set the Cougars' record for lowest nine-hole score in a match against the South Putnam Eagles when she carded a 40.
As the season progressed, Simpson just seemed to get better, with everything leading to her performance at the Brownsburg Sectional on Sept. 16 when she and Emily Zimmerman of South Putnam advanced to the Lafayette Jefferson Regional with scores of 84.
Simpson just kept rolling one week later at Lafayette Municipal Golf Course when she scored an 81 to advance to the state final as one of the regional's top three individuals.
As far as North Putnam coach Keith Bodnarick is concerned, a trip to the state's biggest stage for high school girls' golf was one for which Simpson was due.
"I can't think of a more deserving young lady than Alyssa," Bodnarick said after the regional match. "Playing as an individual this year has been a challenge for her. Obviously, her hard work has paid off in a major way."
Simpson made school history when she punched her ticket to the state finals. She is only the second female athlete from North Putnam to advance to the state finals as an individual. The first was track and cross country runner Cassie Hunt.