By Teddy Rydquist
Leader Staff Writer
On Tuesday, August 25, the Oxford Wildcats girls’ golf program made the nearly 40-mile trip southwest to compete in the first of two Oakland Activities Association (OAA) White Division meets on this season’s calendar.
Held at Farmington Hills Golf Club, located at 37777 11 Mile Road, the competition included each of the team’s five divisional stablemates, the Birmingham Groves Falcons, Clarkston Wolves, North Farmington Raiders, Rochester Falcons, and Troy Athens Red Hawks.
Relying on a nice blend of youth and upperclasswomen, the Wildcats shot a collective 387, good for a fourth-place finish.
Senior Janelle Grech, who was the team’s top scorer in the season-opening Lapeer Lightning Tune-Up at Lapeer Country Club on August 19, led the way once again, carding an 82. This impressive total earned her second-place individual honors.
Freshman Keira Billis, one of the OAA’s most intriguing young players, finished 11th overall with a 94, and senior Eryn Petriko – one of the team’s co-captains, along with Grech – also slotted in the top-20, finishing 16th by tallying a 104.
Junior Lilly Yankee rounded out Oxford’s scoring with a 107.
“I am elated at the scores the team had,” head coach Gretchen Gabler said. “Janelle has worked on her game since her freshman year, and it’s fun to see it translate to lower scores. The addition of Keira (Billis) has invigorated the squad. She has earned the No. 2 spot on the varsity team.
“She, Ellie Gieselman, Lexie Yankee, and Gabi Wait are part of the most promising group of freshmen in my memory. I told the girls before the match I wanted them to play as well as I knew they were capable of and we could place higher than last year.
“When the scores were being posted and we realized Janelle finished second overall, the team and I were overjoyed for her. This year feels special, our potential is bubbling.”
Troy Athens took home first-place with a 351, followed by Rochester (369) and Clarkston (375). Groves and North Farmington occupied the bottom-two spots with a 406 and 450, respectively.
The Wildcats participated in a tournament at The Links at Crystal Lake in Pontiac on September 2 (too late for this week’s edition), and then battle the Brandon Blackhawks at Goodrich Country Club next Tuesday, September 8 at 3 p.m.
By Teddy Rydquist