Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Blue Devils in first place after Day 1 of state golf

Independence’s girls’ golf team shot its best round of golf when it mattered most.

The Blue Devils carded a program-best 328 to finish the first round of the Division II Ohio High School Athletic Association state golf tournament in first place, three strokes ahead of second place Milan Edison.

“I think there's a lot of factors here,” said Independence coach Karl Schuld. “I think our pedigree of playing in so many big tournaments is finally starting to pay off. The girls seemed very calm. They practiced extremely well (on Thursday).”

Junior Sophia Trombetta also had a lot to do with the Blue Devils’ impressive first round.

Playing in her second straight state tournament, she shot an even par 70 to close out the first round in third place behind defending Division II state champion Alexis Jones of Shelby and Eaton’s Sarah Willis, who both shot 68.

“I think that it was a double-edged sword,” Schuld said. “Sophia helped the team relax and the team helped Sophia relax. I think being down here by herself last year was not much fun for Sophia. She's a team-oriented type of girl. That I think helped her play better and then on the other hand I think she rubbed off on some of her teammates and they watched how her approach is and I think it just shows what they're capable of. For one day we're the best Division II team in Ohio.”

Trombetta shot par on 12 of 18 holes and also recorded three birdies.

“I know she was very, very pleased with her score,” Schuld said. “There are two girls that did shoot 68 but when you shoot a 70, you did your job. Sometimes on that day somebody might beat you. You have the defending state champion who shot a 68 and a girl who is going to the University of Illinois who shot a 68. She is not trailing girls who are not talented, that's for sure.”

Lyndsay Blum shot an 81 to finish the day tied for 15th place. Madeline Mindzora came in with an 87, good for 27th place, Maddie Harper carded a 90 and Christina Tommer fired a 98.

“It was crazy the fact that there are just so many things to talk about,” Schuld said. “Christina Tommer to come down here as my No. 5 golfer in her first state championship and to shoot a 98, that's incredible. She was so nervous on the first hole I thought she was going to throw up. It's just incredible. Maddie Harper shot a 50 on the front and a 40 on the back. It was an incredible turnaround. Madeline Mindzora shot a career-low. Lyndsay Blum was two over on the front.”

Independence is scheduled to tee off on Saturday at 9:50 a.m.

The Blue Devils open the day in first place but they know yesterday is behind them and a lot can happen in the next 18 holes.

“Sometimes other kids or other teams are better than you,” Schuld said. “We have a three stroke lead over Milan Edison. Obviously, they’re a really talented team. All five of their girls shot extremely competitive scores. They’re going to be tough. And then you have Shelby, led by the Division II state champ, they're going to be tough as well. All we can do is go out and do what we do. If it turns out that we finish third, so be it and if it turns out we finish first, so be it. I told the girls basically let's not get ahead of ourselves here. We still have a lot of golf to do. All we can do is just do the best we can; that's all we can do, whatever that is. We feel we have a very talented team and I think that we're poised to do something historic. We'll see what happens.”


Steve Hare
Steve Hare is the Chagrin Valley Conference's Sports Information Director. He also created and publishes, an online publication dedicated to providing hyperlocal coverage to area high school athletic programs. Hare began covering high school sports for the Lake County News Herald in 1997. Hare attended Willoughby South High School through the middle of his senior year, then graduated from Berkshire High School in Burton in 1986. He played football, wrestled and was an all-Geauga county baseball player (1986). He lives in Chardon with his wife Paulette and their children.

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