Prior to the 2010 season, Hilmar High girls golf coach Ty Pettigrew was concerned about having enough athletes to play.
Months of winning later, that thought seems so out of this world now.
On Monday, the Yellowjackets made history. With Keeley Pettigrew and Courtney Youngborg shooting scores of 107 and 109, respectively, Hilmar captured its first-ever league title after winning the Valley Foothill League South Championship with a team score of 453 at Micke Grove Golf Course in Lodi. That’s 36 strokes less than runner-up Hughson High.
Ty Pettigrew admitted afterward that the accomplishment was impressive because of what he had before the season began.
“I wasn’t sure who was coming out,” he added.
At first, he only had three returning juniors, which isn’t enough to field a girls golf team. His team then picked up four first-time golfers, which wasn’t an ideal situation. But as the season progressed, the Yellowjackets kept on improving. And kept on winning.
Hilmar went 14-1 in the regular season, with the team’s only loss coming against Modesto Christian High. However, the Yellowjackets did top MC on two other occasions.
In the league championship, all of the Yellowjackets stepped up. Besides Pettigrew and Youngborg’s scores, the efforts of Amber DeSalles (114) and Carlee Pearce (123) counted toward the team score, while Janet Jones finished with a 139 and Leah Kollmeyer had a 172.
“The girls played well all year long and the new girls improved from the beginning of the year until now,” Ty Pettigrew said. “We had quite a few close matches, but everything went our way, I guess, score-wise.”
The Yellowjackets will now move on to the Division V Championships on Monday at Dry Creek Ranch Golf Club in Galt.
“Our goal this year was to win league this year,” the Hilmar coach said. “Everything else is a bonus.”
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