By Ben Murphy
They’ve been on high school golf’s biggest stage before. However, Farwell golfers Bria Colosky and Sammie Baldwin are banking on that previous experience to propel them to the next level at this weekend’s division four state finals meet at Bedford Valley in Battle Creek.
“I think they both have a great shot at medaling actually,” Farwell girls’ golf head coach TJ Staley said of the girls who are set to begin their first round today. “I expect them to be able to crack the top 10, or at least or be in a good position to be.”
Baldwin, a senior finished in the top-40 last year when the Lady Eagles made the state finals as a team.
“I’m excited and I’m glad that Bria and I get to go,” Baldwin said. “I wasn’t sure if I was going to (qualify at regionals) but now that I am, I’m glad that I get to end my career with a bang. I’d like to keep my score under 85 but I’m happy if I just have fun.”
Baldwin’s career didn’t start off that promising, frequently hitting rounds of over 100 in her first career meets.
“When I was a freshman I think the lowest round I had was a 114 and that was on an easy course,” she said. “The fact that I’ve improved over 30 strokes over my career is ridiculous.”
Staley added that Baldwin has knocked off 10 strokes from her average in just this season alone.
“I’m happy that she’s not complacent with just getting there,” Staley said. “Last year it was kind of deer in the headlights kind of thing, her first trip to the show. She’s been there and knows what to do. I think she’s ready for it.”
Colosky, a junior, will be making her third trip to the state finals after finishing 10th as a freshman and ninth as a sophomore.
“It feels good to be going, I’m excited,” Colosky, who is one of four returning state medalists returning to the finals meet said. “I have high expectations for myself and if I don’t reach them I will probably be upset. This being my third year, I have experience. I know that there’s going to be good golfers there. It puts more pressure on myself but I try to not let it get to me. I think my mental game has gotten better this year too so that is going to help. This year I want to be top-five, that’s my goal.”
As confident as Colosky is in her game, there are a few unknowns looming at the state finals.
“I’m nervous because I don’t know the course,” she said. “We’re going to to a practice round (beforehand) and that is going to be helpful to take notes.”
The junior golfer also hopes that the team’s strong season can lead to more members joining the squad next year, as they had just four members this season and will lose Baldwin to graduation.
“We had two freshmen (Haley Lewis, Kasey Staley) come out this year and they did really well,” Colosky said. “It would mean the world to go as a team (next year). We’re hoping to get more people out, more people interested in it and willing to try it.”
Her coach feels the tournament is up for grabs for Colosky to take.
“She’s one of four returning medalists and her regional score would place her in the top five,” Staley said. “Just her experience alone, that’s quite valuable. There’s a lot of new faces that are going to be there this year.”
The coach admits he doesn’t have much advice to give his golfers at this point in the season.
“It’s kind of like cramming for the ACT,” Staley said. “We don’t do a lot of adjusting on swings this time of year. Now it’s just playing the way you play and being familiar with the course and knowing where to hit the ball off the tee.”
As Colosky stated as well, the coach is hoping to see the golf team increase in numbers.
“We have a pretty strong golf tradition at Farwell but it’s still growing,” Staley said. “I feel like we’re trying to keep the golf tradition going. We’re just hoping that we can keep this going and get a couple more girls out next year. Having the two freshman this year was a huge step for us. In three other regionals we would have qualified as at team. We’re happy to get these two onto states but we were hoping to get the whole team. Our regional was really tough though.”
Colosky and Baldwin began their rounds this morning (Friday) and continue state finals play tomorrow.