Cochrane High School’s senior girls golf team will ride their win on Sept. 21 at South Central zones all the way into spring, when provincials are now set to take place.
Originally scheduled for earlier this week, the Alberta Schools’ Athletic Association made the decision to delay provincials into next year due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the province.
Cochrane High School golf coach Patrick Court said delaying provincials could be a blessing in disguise.
“That might be more of a benefit to the athletes because now we can go out and play some rounds and I can go out with the girls,” he said. “I can coach them and talk to them about what I would do in this situation, what they should do here because when they’re playing provincials we’re not allowed to coach them at all.”
Together, the senior girls’ team, made up of Grade 12 golfers Jenna Virjee, 16, Aubrie Shapkin ,17, Julia Shinan, 17, and Grade 10 golfer Toryn Basanko, 15, shot a 305 at zones, edging out Strathmore High School by 17 points.
“I think it was really surprising and really exciting for all of us to hear our names be announced, to be first,” Toryn said. “I think our performance overall was definitely pretty good. I’m really happy about it.”
Toryn said she plans to take full advantage of the golf simulator her family just put in the basement so she can maintain her game over the winter and stay in shape for provincials.
Cochrane High’s Adam Jackson finished best in individual boys, shooting an 86 to land him in the top 15 for the tournament.
The South Central zones took place at the Carstairs Community Golf Club, the same place where the Cochrane High girls placed first in divisionals Sept. 15. Court said he thinks playing the course just a week before probably gave them an advantage over some of the competition.
“I think having played the course previously is a big advantage," he said. "Perhaps some of the other teams in the zone hadn’t played there yet,” he said.
Jenna Virjee, 16, said she felt her individual performance could have been better even though her team found the result they were looking for.
“I honestly was a little bit nervous, more nervous than confident," she said. "It’s tough to know that you’re competing against all of southern Alberta but I kind of just tried my best to ignore it and play my game like I know how to play.”