In the realm of spring sports at OHS, golf is often overshadowed by baseball and softball. This could partially be due to the fact that golf typically does not involve the cheering crowds that accompany baseball games; matches take place in a remote field, far enough away from the high school that few students attend. Yet, despite these slight social disadvantages as well as coaching adjustments this season, the OHS golf team continues to thrive and grow.
Coached this year by Bob Nutt, the team consists of seniors Leif Gustafson and Serei O’Toole, sophomores Maia Lewis-Shunk, Zoe Lewis-Shunk, Ewan Lister, and Joseph Brewer, and eighth-grader Tayla Malo. In a flurry of victory, the boys won almost every match, and the girls, despite not having an official team according to Lewis-Shunk, surpassed almost all other female opponents in the league.
For the post season, the team split; the boys’ team (Gustafson, O’Toole, Lister, and Brewer) traveled to Gallery Golf Course for the district match, while Maia and Zoe Lewis-Shunk attended the women’s districts at North Bellingham Golf Course. Gustafson and O’Toole proceeded to qualify for bi-districts, as did Maia and Zoe Lewis-Shunk. Upon journeying to bi-districts, held at the same locations as districts, three of the four players, Gustafson and Maia and Zoe Lewis-Shunk, managed to meet the necessary requirements to advance to state, held in Spokane over the course of three days. Maia and Zoe Lewis-Shunk placed fifth in bi-districts with a score of 89 and ninth with a score of 94, respectively, earning fourth place as a team. Gustafson placed fifth with a score of 86.
Zoe Lewis-Shunk’s and Gustafson’s scores on the first day did not meet the requirements that would have allowed them to proceed to the second day of the state tournament. Lewis-Shunk did not make the qualifying score of 100, while Gustafson, with a score of 94, did not meet the cut of 85. Maia Lewis-Shunk, with a score of 85, continued to the second day of competition and proceeded to score a 90, earning 16th place in state. Regardless of the outcome, however, the golfers valued the experience. “It was a good bonding experience,” said Zoe Lewis-Shunk. “You meet a lot of new people.”
In addition to these official achievements, however, the entire group grew and improved in terms of skill and as a team. “Everyone improved a bunch over the season,” said Maia Lewis-Shunk. “We grew a lot as a team.” Eighth-grader Malo shows promising potential for the future of the OHS golf team, having also improved greatly, according to Shunk. In addition to golf-related success, the team had fun. “It was a very enjoyable season,” Shunk said.