In a normal year, the Selah High School golf teams would just be wrapping up district competition and preparing for state. But, as everyone is well aware, 2020 is anything but normal.
Which is a shame, because both Vikings teams had shown great promise over the season’s first two weeks before being sent home for the school year.
“I thought we were going to be really competitive this year,” said girls coach Jeff Blain, who expected his core of five golfers — including two-time state qualifier Jade Wold — would be in the running for the CWAC title. “We only had two players coming back from last year, so I wasn’t sure when we started. But we had some new kids come out who I thought would make us pretty solid.”
Junior Addy Scott was expected to join Wold in the varsity lineup, along with senior Emily McKeel, an experienced player who was new to the program. Freshmen Jaycee Scott and Lexi Becker also caught Blain’s attention early in the season.
“I was excited to see the girls get better,” Blain said. “Every year, I say ‘it’s how you’re playing at the end.’ Sometimes your scores have to go down while you’re trying to fix something, but that’s part of the fun. It’s a journey, and I wanted the kids to have that.”
Boys coach Jeff Weeks also felt optimistic about the spring with two returning state qualifiers in seniors Nyan Hartman and Kyton Snodgrass. He said both players would likely have qualified again this year, while junior Jonathan Morris “had a shot.” Senior Alex Scott was another key piece to the Vikings’ district hopes this season.
“With those four guys, we would have been pretty competitive,” he said. “They play all the time at the two local courses, and they were excited to see what we could do in our league.”
The coach said he posted instructional videos online and kept in touch with the seniors until the season was officially canceled on April 6 due to the statewide stay-at-home order. He said the players are happy to be playing again now that the Elks Club and River Ridge are back open. But that doesn’t undo the disappointment of a lost high school season.
“For a while, we all hoped that we’d get back,” Weeks said. “We thought they might make an exception for golf because it’s a sport where you can keep your distance. There aren’t any crowds until you get to state. So, we thought we might get to have some kind of a season, but it just didn’t pan out.”