BRAZIL -- August in only a few days old, but the Putnam County schools have already begun their fall sports campaigns for the 2010-11 school year.
On Tuesday, Cloverdale and South Putnam's girls' golf teams both competed in the Eagle Pride Golf Invitational at Oak Ridge. The host Eagles placed fourth on the day with a team score of 417, while Cloverdale did not qualify for the team scores.
The outing nearly got off to a rough start as storm clouds built overhead at 9 a.m., bringing fears of a repeat weather performance from the prior year in which play was suspended due to a heavy storm. Fortunately, a small pocket of clear skies developed and passed over the Clay County course, allowing competitors from all nine competing schools to play on.
As the heat and humidity began to crank back up, the golfers not only had to deal with this being their first outing of the year, but a course that had more than its fair share of traps and challenges.
In the end, Danville walked away with the team win, but all the squads knew that it was the first meet of the season.
Cloverdale head coach Ken Williams was perhaps the most frustrated of all, but only part of it fell on the girls that made it to Oak Ridge.
"I'm terribly disappointed about the girls that were AWOL today," Williams lamented. "We couldn't qualify for the team scores. We've got a meet Thursday at home and it will be embarrassing if the same thing happens again.
"We didn't play well today," he continued. "I didn't expect us to play that well. There were some things that carried over from practice that are still here. But we're aware of those things."
The Cloverdale coach thought one girl received some much needed experience, while others still have some things to iron out.
"It was Makayla's (Moore) first meet. She had never played before today and got experience. Victoria (Boyette) and Sydney (Shrum) have work to do. They didn't score as well as they would have liked. In all, we have a lot of work to do in all areas," Williams said. "But, we haven't peaked yet. I'd hate to see us do that in the first meet," he added with a chuckle.
Eagles coach Debbie Steffy was slightly more optimistic about the day.
"I'm pleased with the scores," Steffy said. "Our returnees scored today where they were hitting at the end of last year. There are some things we need to improve and work on to get better scores.
"The girls were pleased with the scores. They know where there are places that they can cut their 18-hole scores at and know there is work to be done," Steffy reiterated from the conversation she had with her team afterwards.
"Going into Thursday, we need to improve on the short game. They mentioned give-aways, whether it be an extra putt here or a shot hit too short there. It's a real plus for me that they want to work on these things and as a coach I couldn't ask for more from the team."
At Oak Ridge
Eagle Pride Golf Invitational
Danville (383), North Montgomery (403), Edgewood (411), South Putnam (417), Southmont (441), Owen Valley (495), Monrovia, Cascade, Cloverdale (INC)
Medalist -- Jessica Smyth (Cascade) 83
Individual Scores (County Schools)
South Putnam -- Cassie Warren (103), Caitlyn Boyce (104), Cierra Perry (105), Madison Cash (105), Kelsey Searles (112)
Cloverdale -- Sydney Shrum (104), Victoria Boyette (114), Makayla Moore (163)
Next Match -- Cloverdale and South Putnam will both be at Clover Meadows on Thursday.