When the first day of the Missouri State High School Athletic Association Class 1 varsity girls golf championship meet took place on Monday in Columbia, Mexico finished fourth with 374.
While that wasn't surprising to anyone who watched this team dominate the area this season, what wasn't expected was that the second session of this two-day event would be cancelled because of weather. In the final standings this placed Mexico behind Notre Dame (Cape Girardeau) with 319, Pembroke had a 355 and carding a 358 was John Burroughs, but ahead of Maryville (400), Logan-Rogersville (421), Mt. Vernon (453) and Macon (483).
"We have had a goal to take a team to the state tournament for who knows how long. It was so exciting to finally meet that goal this fall," said coach Lindsey Yancey. "Then we had to start thinking about our hopes for the tournament and the end of our season. I knew we had the team scores to be competitive with pretty much anyone we would encounter but for state we really tried to make our goals personal with the number one goal to enjoy the final tournament of the season."
Among the highlights along the way for the Lady Bulldogs was the trio of school records this squad set in 2017. This includes their nine-hole team score, 18-hole team score and finishing fourth at the state tourney.
"The girls had a really solid day one. We played a few strokes over our average but considering the gravity of the event, I was really pleased with our score," Yancey said. "We ended up being much more consistent in our play than many other teams wer. I was pretty confident we'd hold that position on day two, and my whole team was excited to get another chance at playing the course, knowing we all made some mistakes and feeling confident we could improve upon our day one scores. We ended up not having the opportunity to play day two, which is bittersweet, but we are beyond thrilled."
The individual that stood out the most for Mexico this postseason was Emma Chedwick. She shot an 81 on day one of the state meet to take the seventh spot, which qualified her for All-State honors.
"The story of Emma Chedwick is going to be one I'll celebrate for years to come. She started playing golf as a freshman and has come such a long way in four years," said Yancey. "Considering she missed the cut for state twice before, her not only making it to the tournament this year but also turning in a round that was so consistent shows the mental maturity she has worked on over the last four years. She has been a true leader for this team for years now and it was an extremely rewarding experience."
Earning their own attention for the Lady Bulldogs were Kylah Gore and Lilly Knipfel. In Columbia on Monday they posted scores of 92 and 89 to finish 22nd and 18th, respectively.
"Kylah Gore was another vital part of our team at the state tournament. She ran into some challenges during her round but I'm really proud that she kept working through it. She's another young player that will continue to provide strong leadership and golf experience for our team," Yaancey said. "Lilly Knipfel turned in a solid round from the first day, she was a couple strokes over average and just one stroke out of medaling and All State honors. It will be really fun watching her in the coming years."
The other two golfers in action for the Lady Bulldogs at the par-71 Columbia Country Club were Emma Unger, who came in 90th with a score of 129, and Betsy Pascoe shot a 109 to finish 66th. Paris' Sharon Schoonover qualififed for this event, as well, and shot a 106 to end up 59th.
"Getting to introduce my players and give them each a medal was surreal. I truly never thought I would have that opportunity but we worked hard for this and I will treasure that memory as a highlight of my career. This has been a season for the record books and our finish at state was the icing on the cake," said Yancey. "We'd love to extend our sincere thanks to our home town for the overwhelming support. We were overwhelmed with well wishes as we played and are honored to represent Mexico."