The St. Joseph girls captured their fourth straight golf state championship on Tuesday.
The Lady Bulldogs’ score of 251 at the Class 2A state golf tournament topped the host, Izard County Consolidated, by 15 strokes. Smackover finished in third place out of the 12 teams that competed at the Cooper’s Hawk Golf Club in Melbourne.
"State championships are hard to come by," St. Joseph coach Chris Kordsmeier said. "We’ve just been blessed with a good run of athletes through this school. The big thing about our girls is that they have a competitive nature. Competition is what drives them to excel."
St. Joseph’s Brooke Enderlin earned medalist honors after firing a 77. She has also qualified for the state’s girls Overall Oct. 15 at Pleasant Valley Country Club in Little Rock.
"First of all, these girls love to play golf. They play in a couple of summer tournaments with the ASGA," Kordsmeier said. "Another thing that has helped this program out is when the AAA moved golf to the fall instead of the spring. Now, the girls come off their summer season and go right into the high school season. We started golf on Aug. 1, so the girls were able to go right into it. They don’t have to wait and waste months in the winter."
St. Joseph has claimed the last seven of the last 10 state titles on its level. Along with Enderlin, Jennifer Hegeman (86), Jessie Moix (88) and Heather Moix (88) earned all-state honors with their performances.
"We’ve been fortunate to have the support of the community and these golf clubs around here," Kordsmeier said. "Cadron Valley at the Links, Centennial Valley, and the Country Club have all been gracious in letting us use their courses during the season. Some of the girls are members at those places and some of them are not, so we really thank them for allowing us to hold our matches on their courses."
From an athletic director’s standpoint, Kordsmeier is glad to see the first championship of this school year. He hopes some of the other programs can follow up with a state title.
"It’s a great start to the year," Kordsmeier said, with a chuckle. "A lot of these girls play in other sports, and they excel in them as well. We’re proud of all of our kids in our sports programs. I was very proud of these girls efforts on Tuesday, and they did a great job of representing our school. They have been a pleasure to coach. They played very well and consistent the whole golf season."