Jordan and the Bearcats: A winning combination
     2014-10-15      By Terry Gaston    sports@geringcitizen.com
Photos by Terry Gaston/for the Citizen Gering senior Jasie Beam tees off on the 18th hole at Monument Shadows Golf Course in Gering during the recent Best in the West Tournament. Beam is competing at the state tournament in Lincoln this week.  
York takes Class B medalist honors, leads Scottsbluff to 7th state team title; Gering’s Rahmig ties for 5th, Bulldogs finish 8th

LINCOLN – From the time Scottsbluff senior Jordan York took the course at the season-opening Scottsbluff Quadrangular warm-up tournament on Aug. 22, the Bearcat senior was on a mission for the girls’ golf campaign.

On Tuesday, York achieved not only the task of leading Scottsbluff to its record seventh girls’ state team championship, but she also became the third Bearcat to finish the state tournament as individual medalist with her two-stroke victory at Lincoln’s Pioneers Golf Course.

For Gering, senior Sam Rahmig finished in a tie for fifth place and earned her third state individual medal. As a team, the Bulldogs finished in eighth place among the 12 teams.

Along with Bearcat junior Hannah Holloway’s eighth-place medal finish, Scottsbluff defended its state title from last year and claimed its seventh team title in 12 years, all won under the watchful eye of freshly enshrined Nebraska State Golf Hall of Famer Mike Klein.

With just York and Holloway returning from the 2013 state champion Bearcats, Klein said the 2014 titlists are the most unique of Scottsbluff’s girls’ state victors because of the youth and inexperience that trailed the state veterans.

“When the girls come into the program, by the time they are juniors and seniors they are really good players and we just go out and know we have a chance to win,” Klein said. “With this group, we had the two back, and the newcomers were talented and hard workers, it was just a whole different type thing.”

While the Class B field slogged its way through cold, rainy and windy conditions Monday, Tuesday’s early cool temperatures warmed up nicely and skies cleared. However, the wind howled through Pioneers and played havoc with most golfers; 38 of the 74 players had higher scores Tuesday from their first rounds of play.

York started Tuesday in a tie for third place, three strokes behind Monday co-leader Sara Larsson of Plattsmouth, after she shot an 80.
York, who was tied with for third with Ogallala senior Maaika Mestl, finished Tuesday with a 79, and her two-day score of 159 proved two swings better than a senior trio deadlocked for second: Larsson, Mestl and first-day No. 2 finisher Raluca Majefski of Omaha Roncalli Catholic.

“She was just in a battle all day,” Klein said of York’s second-round effort. “When you’re behind, you force yourself to play good, and that’s what she did. She played good on the front nine (with a 39) and pretty much reeled everybody in. She either had a one-shot lead or was tied for the lead after the front nine.

“And as the back nine went along, she just stayed close. She had one hole where she made a bogey, but the course was playing hard. If she could make pars, she could keep going.

“Finally, the Plattsmouth girl she was tied with her after 14 made a double-bogey on 15, and that gave her a little bit of a break and she took it in.”

York, who shot a 40 on the back nine Tuesday, rose to first from a ninth-place state finish as a junior after she tied for 19th as a sophomore and tied for 15th as a freshman.
York thus joined Sabrina King from 2010 and Brittany Pepler, a Class A champion from 2004, as state medalists for the Bearcats. King had also won the 2009 medalist title as a Gering Bulldog.

Along with leading Scottsbluff to its seventh state title, York won her seventh medalist honor of the season and the Bearcats won their eighth team crown of the fall.

Holloway’s score rose from 75 on Monday to 80 on Tuesday for a 155 total, but she maintained her eighth-place spot in earning her first individual state medal. Holloway improved from a 23rd-place state finish last fall. Holloway tied for 58th place at state as a freshman.

Junior Karlie Johnson rose to the occasion at state as the Bearcats’ No. 5 player. Johnson followed her first-day 102 with a 104 for a 206 total that put her into a tie for 43rd place.
Bearcat freshman Shelby Poynter was next for Scottsbluff, shooting 105 Tuesday for a 212 total and a 50th-place finish. Senior teammate Jocelyn Bruner came in 53rd tied after a 105 Tuesday gave her a 214 total.

“It was just a gradual thing and it just turned out that we had enough time for them to get comfortable playing,” Klein said of his varsity newcomers. “I knew at the first of the season, when we got Karlie and Shelby out, that they were going to be good. It was just depended on whether we had enough time. And they were fast enough learners that we did have enough time.”

A large factor in having that time for the younger Bearcats to grow and improve was the cooperative weather throughout the season. Scottsbluff lost just one tournament round to weather, when the first day of the Casper Kelly Walsh Invitational was snowed out and revamped to a one-day event.

“And then Jocelyn stepped up as a fifth player,” Klein said. “I pretty much knew what the lineup was going to be about three weeks before the end of the season, but we just let them play out and did a lot of matches against each other. And we knew the state competition wasn’t as good this year and that helped out.”

Rahmig, a three-year state qualifier – as an individual this and last year and a team member as a sophomore – shot a second round of 84 that gave a 167 total and a move up from Rahmig’s tie for seventh from last year.

“It meant a lot, knowing that it was my senior year and knowing that I improved some (at state) from last year. It was just memorable,” said Rahmig, who won the District B-4 medalist honor and was the Best of the West champion for the second straight year.

Rahmig’s second-round score rose by one stroke from her 83 on Monday, which had her in sixth place.
“She started out pretty well on the front nine and then double-bogeyed three holes in a row,” second-year Gering coach Jessica Boswell said of Rahmig, whose double bogeys came on the seventh through ninth holes.

“For the front nine she had a 45, and she turned around on the back and played the back nine played really well. After the front nine, I think she was in eighth place, so she picked up three spots by playing a good back nine to get fifth.”

Rahmig had tied for 14th as a sophomore, when the Bulldogs last qualified a team and finished fourth.
“It feels pretty good, knowing that from last year I improved two places,” said Rahmig, who finished tied for fifth with Gretna junior Callie Hawkins (84-83).

Gering’s other players finished way out of the medals. Senior Jasie Beam, who was the Bulldogs’ best first-day finisher behind Rahmig with a tie for 40th, fell to 51st with her Tuesday score of 110 giving her a 213 total.

Sophomore Baily Kreider finished in 56th after a Tuesday score of 111 gave her a 219 total.
Junior Allysa Hoagland, who was tied for 69th after Monday, improved 12 strokes Tuesday with a 105 and finished in a tie for 57th at 212.
Sophomore Jaylen Beam finished in 66th at 229 after she carded a 115 Tuesday.

“Allysa improved her score, but it was definitely tougher today with the wind gusts and having to use two or three more clubs into the wind,” Boswell said. “And the greens were a lot tougher today.”
While the Bulldogs’ team score rose by two strokes, from 408 Monday to 410 on Tuesday, their final team placement climbed to eighth from 10th on Monday.

Boswell said Rahmig’s leadership for her teammates the past two years has been invaluable.
“Her leadership skills are with the team,” Boswell said. “She is not a selfish person. Her leadership role of helping the underclassmen, just basically setting a good example and being a role model by showing that practicing and working hard pays off. And it was like that all year.”

And Rahmig said she thinks the Bulldogs can continue their success of qualifying for state as a team.
”Next year, I think they can make it down again and make some noise,” she said. “I think the girls have a lot of potential for next year.”

Class C at Columbus

The only medal coming back to the Panhandle from the Class C State Championships at Quail Run Golf Course in Columbus belongs to Chadron freshman Alpine “Ricki” Hickstein.

Hickstein rose to a sixth-place tie after an 88 Tuesday gave her a 182 total. Her first-day score of 94 placed Hickstein in a tie for 13th. Hickstein was the top medalist in the District C-5 meet last week at Ogallala.

The best area finisher was Bridgeport senior Cassidy Mitchell, who shot a 99 Tuesday and finished in 27th place at 199. Mitchell and the Bulldogs, however, could not move out of the 15th and final team placement, finishing with a team total of 961 (477-484).
Mitchell junior Myranda Musfelt bettered her first-day score and position by six places by shooting a 103 Tuesday and finishing in 38th place with a 209. Musfelt thus improved on her 65th-place state finish from last year’s rain-shortened, one-day tourney at Quail Run.

Bayard senior Tessa Douglas rebounded from a tough first-day round of 123 to card a 110 that gave her a 233 and rose her 10 positions into a tie for 69th among the 92 Class C participants.

Kearney Catholic sophomore Morgan Thiele, a first-day co-leader, matched her Monday count of 84 to win Class C medalist honors.
Thiele’s 168 was two strokes better than the runner-up, Doniphan-Trumbull junior Brandi Lemek, whose second-day 82 gave her a 170 and
lifted her from third place on Monday.

Minden senior Ashton Boldt, the first-day co-leader with Thiele, finished in third at 171 after a Tuesday round of 87. Minden won the Class C team championship at 750, finishing 16 strokes ahead of runner-up Columbus Scotus.

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