Western Nebraska Observer - Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

A rebound year for Kimball Girl's Golf


October 25, 2018

It was a new year with a new look for Kimball High Girl’s Golf. Luke Maas took over the program and the former Potter-Dix golfer came in with enthusiasm and recruited a total of 7 girls to the program, and the program took an upswing.

Of the 7 members, two were seniors trying the sport for the first time and they both said they enjoyed it very much. Sheridan Magninie and Lacey Klinkhammer will be missed next year as they were great team leaders according to coach Maas. Maas also had junior Carli Wurdeman who really took to golf and had a solid season once she caught on to how things should be done, as she was also a new comer to the game. Three sophomores who will be back include Raven Johnson, Maddie Cook , and Samantha Bemis. All three contributed to the success of the team. Freshman Payton Wise was the bright spot for the Lady Longhorns as in her first season of high school golf she was a state qualifier, and a state medalist, along with tying the Kimball High School record when she shot a round of 82 at the Kimball Invite.

Kimball started the season with a 9 hole round at Gering where no team score was kept and it was treated, more or less, as a practice round against competition. At the Sidney tournament Kimball finished 7th as a team shooting 455 and Payton Wise was a top ten medalist finishing 9th with a round of 96. Kimball wound up 5th at the Bayard Tournament shooting 475 as a team and Wise was 2nd with her round of 91. Wise got her first individual win at the Kimball Tournament where the Horns finished 2nd in the team standings with a round of 433. This was where the talented young 9th grader equalled the school record set by Loni Janicek back in 1999.

Next up was the Creek Valley Tournament in Chappell and Kimball improved their team best to 425 finishing 2nd once again and Wise was individual medalist in back to back performances winning at Chappell with a round of 86. Both she, and the team, were improving each week it would appear. Not only Wise, but other girls were getting into the medal group at this stage. At the Kimball Tournament Kimball had 5 girls medal with Wise winning with her 82, Raven Johnson 3rd with 93, Sheridan Magninie 7th with 112, Carli Wurdeman 8th with 112, and Maddie Cook 10th with 127. At Creek Valley Wurdeman finished 7th with a round of 109 and Magninie was 9th at 110.

This brings us to the Mitchell Tournament where Kimball shot their season low score of 394 finishing 3rd. Wise was 2nd in the medal group with a round of 84 and Wurdeman was 8th with her best round of 97. At the Gering Tournament Kimball went up against all of the large school programs and finished 9th and Wise failed to place with her round of 102. Both she, and the team, were in a down slide era as they finished 10th at the Ogallala Tournament the next time out shooting 449 and Wise had her worst round of 112 for no place once again.

Not to worry, Kimball rebounded at the Western Trails Conference Tournament in Bridgeport shooting 416 to finish 3rd and Wise was 2nd with a good round of 84 and Wurdeman wound up 6th with her round of 100 to give both girls all conference honors. The Bridgeport Tournament was scored as their Invite and WTC so the Kimball ladies brought home a lot of hardware by finishing 3rd in both divisions.

Bridgeport closed out the regular season and it was time to get real serious as it was District Tournament time and the District Kimball would compete in was back at Ogallala on the course where young Wise shot her season worst round. Time to buckle down and meet the field of top golfers, and conquer the dreaded course and Wise did just that. She improved that round of 112 shot a couple of weeks earlier to a very good round of 87 to place 3rd individually and earn a qualifying spot in the Nebraska State Tournament as the top ten individuals and top 3 teams advanced. The Lady Longhorns did not make it as a team finishing 5th with their round of 442.

All season the Kimball golfers battled some harsh weather, but perhaps none as bad as what the state tournament offered up. Payton showed determination as she battled her way to a 12th place on the first day of the state tournament being held in North Platte shooting 94 as all of the golfers were shooting scores of a dozen strokes, or more, worse than usual in the rain, cold, and wind. This was the case state wide as Classes A and B ended up cancelling their second day of play, as did Class C after they started out despite more of the rain-wind-cold, only to have it stopped after the group Wise was in had completed 8 holes of play. Young Payton was showing lots of courage and had moved up in the individual standings at the time they cancelled play to some where in the top ten and more like in the top 6 or 7. When play was stopped, results were posted from day one pay and Wise was a state medal winner with her 12th place standings of day one! What a great accomplishment for the young Lady with a bright future.

Kimball will have five veterans returning next season and hopefully will pick up some more recruits from girls who want to give golf a try. Coach Maas is optimistic about next year and is already making plans on how to improve the program. Led by Wise, he has a group that can make some noise next season. Go Big Red and congrats on a good season completed.


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