Leaving the final hole Wednesday during the City Championship girls’ golf tournament, Lee’s Summit West’s golfers gathered on and around coach Richard Myers’ cart — chatting about their rounds, showing off pictures on their phones and later posing for a group shot.
This is a team that enjoys being together and that fact, Myers said, has been crucial in the Titans’ success this season.
“The kids really like each other, they pull for each other, and I think that really helps,” Myers said. “When they’re on the golf course, they don’t want to make a bad shot and let their teammates down.”
The letdowns have been few and far between for West, especially over the last couple of weeks.
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The Titans won the City Championship with a team score of 190 during the nine-hole event at Longview Lake’s Fred Arbanas Golf Course.
They also won Oak Park’s Tom Stout Invitational at Paradise Pointe on Tuesday and won the Corwin Classic, a par-3 event, on Sept. 7 at Arbanas.
“We’re hitting our peak at the right time,” Myers said. “We’ve been getting better every week. Hopefully, we’ll continue to do well and make a nice push for the state tournament.”
Leading this tight-knit group of Titans is McKenna Rice, a junior who placed 26th in last year’s Class 2 state tournament. Along with the rest of the team, Rice has improved almost every week.
Rice, who started the season a bit slow, has come on to claim medalist honors at the Corwin Classic, shoot 78 and place third at Paradise Pointe, and win the City Championship with a 39.
Kate Lindstrom’s 50 was the low score for Lee’s Summit and Natalie Bruce led Lee’s Summit North with a 52.
“It’s gotten progressively better,” Rice said of her season. “My game overall both mentally and on the course has gotten better.”
Myers has definitely noticed the improvement in her game.
“She’s done well every year, but this year she’s made a stride,” Myers said. “She hits the ball farther, and her mental game and course management has improved. Every phase of her game is a little sharper this year, and she had a slow start but now she’s starting to come on.”
West’s varsity lineup also includes Faith Beaty, the Titans’ only senior and a state qualifier last season, juniors Quincy Munsell and Taylor Starr and sophomore Shannon Ralls. Munsell (86) and Ralls (89) both shot personal bests at Paradise Pointe, where the Titans won with a 342 team score.
“We had a really good day up at Paradise Pointe,” Myers said. “Some of the stronger teams like Notre Dame (de Sion) and Staley weren’t there, but I still thought our kids did pretty well.”
Staley and Sion lurk later in district and sectional play for West, but next up for the Titans is a competitive field Monday in the Suburban Gold Conference Tournament at Paradise Pointe.
With a solid No. 1 golfer and an improving supporting cast, Myers believes this team can get to state.
They’ll all be rooting for each other along the way.
“I have a great team behind me,” Rice said. “I might be No. 1, but all these girls pull their own weight. And yeah, we’re friends.”