Big Rapids girls golf takes CSAA championship

Big Rapids clinches another CSAA title with win in final conference meet

BIG RAPIDS — You can forgive the members of the Big Rapids girls golf team if they had a feeling of deja vu on Tuesday.

A year and six days after the Cardinals clinched the 2013 Central State Activities Association (CSAA) title at Clear Lake Golf Club in Big Rapids, they found themselves on that same course once again hoisting the plaque as CSAA champs after they shot a 395-stroke team score in the final CSAA event of the season, finishing with a league-best 1,997 strokes over the course of five conference meets.

FLYING HIGH: The members of the Big Rapids girls golf team show off the plaque they received after clinching the Central State Activities Association (CSAA) title on Tuesday by winning the final CSAA match of the season at Clear Lake Golf Club. The Cardinals were victorious in all five of their CSAA competitions this season, finishing the year with a league-best 1,997 strokes in conference play. (Pioneer photo/Greg Buckner)

FLYING HIGH: The members of the Big Rapids girls golf team show off the plaque they received after clinching the Central State Activities Association (CSAA) title on Tuesday by winning the final CSAA match of the season at Clear Lake Golf Club. The Cardinals were victorious in all five of their CSAA competitions this season, finishing the year with a league-best 1,997 strokes in conference play. (Pioneer photo/Greg Buckner)

With Tuesday’s victory, the Cardinals were victorious in every CSAA meet this season.

Big Rapids came into the final CSAA meet with a 205-stroke lead over second-place Central Montcalm, which finished second in the conference with 2,203 strokes at the conclusion of Tuesday’s event. Tri County finished third (2,490), followed by Chippewa Hills in fourth (2,541) and Lakeview in fifth (3,273).

“We set our goals each year and a conference championship is certainly one of them,” Big Rapids coach Mark Posey said. “It shows you through five tournaments, our girls showed up every time. To win by the margin we did against the competition we did, it shows the hard work these girls put in.”

At the conclusion of Tuesday’s event, Big Rapids’ Haley McKenna finished the conference slate as the CSAA’s Most Outstanding Players and an all-CSAA first-teamer with 359 strokes in conference play. She was joined by fellow Cardinals Alexis Dawkins (369) and A.J. Stephens (411) on the first team.

Three Cardinals landed on the all-CSAA second team with Gina Weaver (442), Eleri Johansen (443) and Alison Scsnavicki (451), in addition to Chippewa Hills’ Megan Beach (466). The Warriors also had Morgan Stroud (484) and Taylor Swix (505) earn honorable mentions.

“I’m proud of our team,” McKenna said. “I’m happy with how we’re all doing. I’m very excited and I hope the girls are, too.”

Big Rapids has one regular-season match left on its schedule against Manistee tomorrow before it prepares for Division 3 regional play at Katke Golf Course in Big Rapids next Thursday.

The Cardinals are hoping a chance to play on their home course will help them get back to the state finals after they missed out on a finals berth with a fifth-place finish during last year’s regional at Cedar Chase Golf Club.

“It’s good to have that home-course advantage, but we have three of the top eight teams in the state coming to our regional,” Posey said. “We have our hands full. But having the home course and if we have the right attitude coming into this, I think these girls can put together that number to get out of there.”

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