Fresh off 5A title, Bingham girls golf team ready for 6A challenge
Apr 10, 2018 04:14PM
● By Josh McFadden
The Bingham girls golf team won the Class 5A state title last season. The team is eager to defend its title against some challenging foes. (Photo courtesy Jodi Sadler)
The Bingham girls golf team will have some new faces this season, and the team will compete against some different opponents, but the goals remain the same: contend for the state championship.
And why should the Miners have lofty ambitions? The team captured the Class 5A title last season. Now in the newly created 6A, Bingham figures to be in the mix once again for top honors when the sate tournament takes place May 14–15 at Meadowbrook in Taylorsville.
Co-head coach Brett Boberg has to replace some key players from last year, but he also welcomes back some accomplished, experienced team members. He’ll need each player to be at the top of her game against the likes of fellow state power Lone Peak, among others.
“We lost two seniors and one sophomore from our varsity lineup, but we still have our core set of players, so we have pretty high expectations,” Boberg said. “I’m just excited to see how we compete week in and week out against Lone Peak. They are probably our biggest competition, and having the [Utah High School Activities Association] move our region down south, it will be like Kentucky and Duke playing in the first round of the March Madness—only this happens twice a week. I’m also excited to see how much work the girls have put in over the offseason.”
It helps for Boberg to have a player the caliber of Tess Blair. She was the top golfer in 5A last season and is eager for an encore.
“She’s an incredibly talented and smart golfer,” Boberg said of her. “She’s our ‘steady-Eddie.’ Watching her golf game is something to behold.”
The Miners have some depth to go along with Blair. Bingham’s next three top performers aren’t far behind. Junior Carissa Graft is Bingham’s No. 2 golfer. Keep an eye on senior captain Jenique Jacobs and senior Gabby Langi.
“[Graft] rocked it as a freshman two years ago at the state tournament,” Boberg said. “She has the potential to go seriously low with her scores. [Jacobs] has been with our program all four years, and she can hit it a mile. She’s looking to play some college golf, and she’s really put the work in over the offseason. [Langi] is a three-sport athlete; she plays volleyball, basketball and golf. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a girl hit the ball farther than Gabby.”
While it’s clearly important for each player to work on her swing and to improve various aspects of the game such as putting, chipping and driving, Boberg is emphasizing other crucial parts of golf as well.
“We’ve created a culture of hard work on this team,” he said. “That would be our biggest strength. We’ve also worked a lot over the last two years on working on our mental game. Golf is as much mental as physical, and we didn’t want to neglect that.”
Though the Miners are a favorite to win the 6A crown, Boberg isn’t saying it’s a win-or-nothing season. He’s looking for improvement and effort. He said if the girls take every practice and game seriously, it should be a successful season.
“We have to focus on ourselves and our golf games,” he said. “We are going to try to cut out all the outside chatter. In golf, you can come up with 1,000 excuses for not doing well. We can blame the weather or our new region. We’re just going to focus on ourselves and give it our best.”
The Miners teed off the season March 13 with a match at Riverbend in Riverton.