After an odd season filled with changing COVID-19 regulations, the Woodland High School girls golf team snagged the district championship title, the first in about a decade.
The WIAA decided to cancel all state tournaments this year, so the district competition was the highest form of playoffs for golf, Blackwelder said.
“We just came out ready to play,” said Aaron Blackwelder, head coach and WHS English teacher.
Two graduating seniors on the team will continue playing golf for colleges in Washington.
The varsity team consisting of three seniors, a junior, a sophomore and a freshman, competed for the district championships in May at the Tumwater Valley Golf Course.
The typical 12-week season was cut down to seven weeks to follow WIAA guidance for the pandemic, Blackwelder said.
Once the district championships rolled around, the varsity team was down one player due to a COVID-19 exposure. All five team members advanced to the next day of the tournament, he said.
Rayleah Trice, a recent WHS graduate, joined the golf team her freshman year as a way to stay connected with friends, according to a news release.
This season, Trice earned second place for the league and second in the district tournament. She plans to continue her passion for golf at Pacific Lutheran University in the fall.
“Golf presents a challenge. You have to work at it to become good and that kept me motivated to continue working toward the goal,” Trice stated in the release.
Erin Madsen, another WHS graduate, wanted to stay close to her late grandfather by playing golf, just as they did when she was little.
“My parents also supported me and I’m glad they did because golf continues to teach me patience and how to deal with stress,” Madsen stated in the release.
She will continue her golf career with Centralia College. She also plans to attend the University of Washington after completing her associate’s degree.
Both Madsen and Trice took golf lessons and competed outside of the high school season, which showed their dedication to the sport, Blackwelder said.
“Erin and Rayleah have been in love with the game of golf ever since they joined the team,” he said.
The final varsity senior Addison Landrigan also started playing golf early on in high school. In the fall, Landrigan will head to the University of Hawaii to major in business management.
“I appreciate the relationships I’ve made with my teammates along the way,” Landrigan stated in the release. “Although I won’t be playing golf in college, I’ll continue playing it as a hobby.”
Blackwelder started coaching the girls golf team in 2014. He has also coached the boys team since 2006.
“Keep watching out because even though we’re graduating three players, we have three returning varsity players and a few more that are coming up in the ranks,” Blackwelder said. “Woodland will continue to be a very competitive team.”
• Rayleah Trice, senior:
• Zoe Jouwsma, junior:
• Erin Madsen, senior:
• Kara Lynn Conditt,
freshman: 20th place
Addison Landrigan, senior: 26th place