Sophomore leading Lady ‘Cats on links
Chappell 3rd in Marshfield tournament, shooting in 70s
For high school golfers, consistently shooting in the 70s is a tough goal to achieve, but Cassville sophomore Avery Chappell is doing so this season.
The Lady Wildcats have competed in a pair of events so far this year, one in Springfield and another in Marshfield, and Coach Jay Rogers is excited for how the season is going.
“We have eight girls on the roster: four seniors, three sophomores and a freshman,” he said. “Two of my seniors have played since they were freshmen, Chloe Moller and Alyzea Myers. Rachel Steinmann is a senior in her third year, and Riley Morris is playing for the first time. Our sophomores are Avery, Chaney Cox and Gracie Harmon, and our freshman is Adele Hendricks.”
Chappell has been the standout so far this year, shooting a 78 in the first tournament of the year in Springfield, good for 7th place, then shooting another 78 in Marshfield, earning her 3rd place out of a field of more than 80 golfers from 19 teams.
“[In Marshfield], Rachel posted her best score to date, Chaney improved from her scores last year, Alyzea carved some strokes off of last week’s score and Avery shot another solid round,” Rogers said. “I’m proud of them all.”
Rogers said training is varied, as each girl is on a different level of learning skills.
“As a group, we have a lot of good teammates,” Rogers said. “They encourage one another and are competitive with each other, which helps them improve. They really support each other.”
Chappell may only be in her second year of high school play, but her experience goes beyond the Wildcats’ walls.
“I’ve played since I was younger, growing up playing but not really starting seriously until I was about 9,” she said. “When I started paying in high school, i didn’t know what to expect because I had never played competitively — only as a hobby.”
Chappell said her scores so far are about 8-10 strokes better than her freshman year. Besides practicing three to four times per week on her own in the offseason, when weather allows, she said a lot of that improvement has to do with having the right mentality.
“I have changed mentally to where I can focus on my game and not on anyone else,” she said. “But, my weakness is I still overthink my shots sometimes.”
Rogers said he has noticed a mental change in his sophomore, as well.
“She’s much better this year about not letting bad one hole or one bad shot carry over,” he said.
Chappell was primed to qualify for state last year, but during district tournament play she was called to quarantine for COVID-19 exposure. Moller qualified for state for Cassville last year, and Myers was a single stroke outside the cut.
“I intend on going to districts and state,” Chappell said. “I want to shoot in the 70s as much as I can this season and get lower and lower rounds. I also hope to improve my accuracy all around.”
One benefit for Chappell, and all other Cassville golfers, is that the 12-team district tournament will be held at the Cassville Golf Club.
“I think that is a huge advantage because our families can come out and root for us, and we can concentrate better because we know the ins and outs of the course.”
Cassville will be in action twice next week, traveling to Carthage on Monday, then hosting an 8-team tournament at the Cassville Golf Club on Sept. 23.
The Big 8 Championship is on Oct. 5 in Seneca, and the District Tournament is set for Oct. 11.