HARTINGTON - The Cedar Catholic girls golf team felt disheartened after the second round a the state tournament was canceled last Tuesday.
It had been raining since Sunday in North Platte, and course conditions quickly deteriorated as cold temperatures, standing water, and general course flooding became an issue.
For this reason, student athletes were taken off of the course on Tuesday after completing between 11 and 16 holes of their final 18.
The NSAA officials threw out Tuesday’s scores, and the state championship became a one-day, 18 hole tournament.
Tournaments for Class A and B in Norfolk and Columbus canceled Tuesday play in the morning before any golfers took to the course.
The question now needing to be asked is not whether the same should have been done in North Platte, after all hindsight is 20/20 and the past can’t be changed. Rather, the question is should there be a rule that requires golfers to finish a round, regardless of course conditions, if there is not severe weather to risk the safety of the athletes.
The Cedar team was disheartened by the events on Tuesday. After a poor round on Monday, the entire team seemed to turn a new leaf and play a lot better on day two.
“The first day we struggled,” said senior Ireland Biltoft. “I think that just goes along with we weren’t used to that weather. The second day we came around and it is really unfortunate that they cancelled it.”
The senior leader finished Monday in 40th place with a 107, and rebounded on Tuesday with a 43 on her front nine. She estimated she was on track to shoot in the low 80s before the round was cancelled.
The Cedar team had finished Monday in 14th place, and had climbed up to tenth before the news of the cancelation. Cedar golf coach Sheila Jueden said Monday was uncharacteristic of the team, and she knew Tuesday would be better.
Since Jueden was right about her team playing better, she was curious about the late decision to take the competitors off the course.
“I just want to know why it went so long without being called. There has to be a reason. The course manager was concerned about tearing the course up, but he let them play that long and two more hours wasn’t going to tear it up any worse.”
Soon after the cancelation, there were rumors that complaints from parents or coaches may have been a factor is the Tuesday cancelation. Jueden followed up with the NSAA after the tournament and was told there was no truth regarding those theories.
The Lady Trojans were frustrated after Mondays performance, and disappointed by Tuesday’s cancelation. The team was determined to have a better day two and to move up in the rankings. It was statistically improbable that Cedar would climb the rankings from 14th to a podium spot, but the team wanted to prove it was better than what was displayed on Tuesday.
Jueden noted that when the conditions are cold and wet like they were for both days, competitors are bound to hit a rough patch at some point during the 36 holes. Freshman Hallie Noecker agreed, saying it was hard to keep consistent swing mechanics.
“When you are freezing it is hard to swing,” said Noecker. “You can’t feel your fingers or your toes and it really screws up your swing, but mentally you have to get through it.”
Overall, the Trojans had a successful season, qualifying for the state tournament as a team for the third straight year. The results may not have been to the girls liking, but Jueden said she was really proud of the girls mental fortitude through the conditions.