It doesn’t seem like a year has gone by, but once again it is the time of year to see if the Sacred Heart Lady Gremlin golf team can make it back to and maybe even improve on their sixth-place finish at last year’s Class 1 Missouri State High School Activities Association State Golf Championship Tournament.
Led by medalist Alex Bankovich with a 3-over-par 38, the Lady Gremlins closed out their regular season Monday with a 174-210 dual win over the California Lady Pintos at the Sedalia Country Club.
The win left the Lady Gremlins with a 37-7 record, with all seven of their losses coming to Class 2 schools — Warrensburg, Rock Bridge, Notre Dame De Sion, Blue Springs, Blue Springs South, Lee’s Summit North and Jefferson City. Sacred Heart came back to beat Warrensburg twice and won both the Osage and California Invitationals and finished a school-best seventh in the S-C Classic.
“I think we did real well this season,” said Sacred Heart Golf Coach Julie Sobaski. “We lost only one player (Ali Bankovich) and actually our scores have been lower than they were last year. And I’m not saying that because we lost Ali, but our other players have improved their scores this year.
Alex Bankovich is a two-time state qualifier and finished 16th individually last year at state. her younger sister played on the Gremlin team that finished sixth last year and finished 24th individually. She has transferred to Smith-Cotton this fall.
Through Monday, Alex Bankovich was averaging 41 per nine holes. Sobaski’s daughter, Olivia, has stepped into the #2 spot vacated by Ali Bankovich, and is averaging 44 per nine holes. Senior Katelyn Sunnarborg is averaging 50, while Erin Holt and Sarah Benitz are both averaging 50 per nine holes and Kim Chmelir 59.
Following Alex Bankovich on Monday, were Sobaski with a 9-over-par 44, Sunnarborg, Holt and Benitz all tied for third individually with rounds of 46.
Becca Hamilton led California with a 51 and Jensen Bauer of Stover carded a 46.
Chmelir shot the low round among the junior varsity field with a 53.
Sacred Heart will take the first step toward the Class 1 state by competing in the Class 1 District 3 Tournament Monday at Adam’s Point Golf Course in Blue Springs.
The top two teams and top 15 individuals not on the top two teams at the district will advance to play in the Class 1 sectional at Nevada the next week.
“I think we have a good chance of going back to state,” said Sobaski. “We will have some tough competition at both the district and sectional.”
Sacred Heart finished second at both the district and sectional tournaments last fall to advance to the state. Photos by Randy Kirby, Sedalia News Journal.