Last fall the Independence’s girls’ golf team set the bar high in its first year of existence. On Friday, the Blue Devils proved their run to the district tournament was no fluke.
Led by Sophia Trombetta, who won medalist honors with an impressive score of 74, the Blue Devils finished fourth in the rugged Pickerington Panther Invitational at Turnberry Golf Course in Pickerington on Friday.
Independence was the only Division II team at the event.
“We’re extremely excited about this year,” said coach Karl Schuld. “Here we are on a brand new course, we’ve never played it, and we’re in Columbus. The kids were all excited to come down here. The biggest thing about my team now is they’re all playing summer golf. They’ve all worked hard. I know that the scores today were probably a little inflated from what they’re going to end up but I truly believe we can make some noise this year. We’ve got girls that have worked hard taking lessons. We’re not babies anymore. We’ll see where it turns out.”
Schuld’s squad ballooned to 18 girls in just the program’s second year of existence. That forced Schuld to conduct tryouts, which led to even more competition and raised the level throughout the roster.
Trombetta and Lyndsay Blum, who finished with an 84 to earn a spot on the all-tournament second team, have a year of experience under their belts and are playing with more confidence.
“Sophia won the Northern Ohio Junior PGA with a 75,” Schuld said. “She had a phenomenal summer. She’s the real deal. The thing with Sophia is she’s just so steady. It’s amazing to watch her golf because she’s always around the green and her putting and chipping is just incredible.”
Trombetta’s 74 was tied for the second best score in both divisions at the event, which included almost 200 golfers.
Blum also benefitted from her experience last fall and a competition filled summer.
“She is very steady from front to back,” Schuld said. “We just had a little trouble with her driver but we straightened that out and she’s very good around the green. She’s a different player this year. She’s coming in with experience and she played a lot of summer golf. I think she just feels much more confident in her abilities.”
Kaylie Kemenyes carded a 106, Madeline Mindzora finished with a 110 and Bryleigh Wise and Maddie Harper scored 119 and 120, respectfully.
“Kaylie, we were very proud of her. She fought her way to a 106. She’s been really working hard to become more consistent,” Schuld said. “When you get around 100 in girls golf you can really help a team. We’re real close to having Kaylie and Madeline and even the other two girls have been around 50 in practice. I think the beauty of my team is on any given day any one of those four girls can step up and have a good day.”
Independence will play in the Kent Roosevelt Invitational on Saturday and the Chagrin Valley Conference preseason tournament on Monday.