By Megan Kelley
It was a big week for Oxford varsity girls golf with the team setting a new school nine-hole record and then a new 18-hole record on the golf course, and they were league champions at the OAA tournament.
“What a fun week for Oxford girls golf” said varsity head coach Gretchen Gabler.
On Sept. 19 the Wildcat girls golf team traveled to Birmingham to battle Seaholm where the team set a nine-hole record.
The Oxford squad of Katie Pill, Keira Billis, Ellie Gieselman, Gabi Wait, Ella Flores and Lexie Yankee shot a 163 defeating the Maple Leafs, who had 203.
Sophomore Katie Pill shot a 38, seniors Ellie Gieselman and Keira Billis each had rounds of 40. Senior Gabi Wait had 45.
A few days later on Sept. 21 the girls arrived early and ready to play in the second OAA tournament of the 2023 season. The OAA White division includes Athens, Farmington, Groves, North Farmington, Seaholm, Stoney Creek and Oxford high schools.
The seven-school tournament ended with the Wildcats setting a new 18-hole school record and winning the OAA white division championship.
The team’s total of 307 shattered the record the team set last year of 329 and dominated the other teams. Athens came in second with 336.
The Wildcats were led by senior and captain Gieselman who carded a 72 with four birdies, a personal best.
Pill, a sophomore, had a personal best 75 with two birdies. Billis shot a 78 with two birdies and Wait finished with an 82 and a personal best. Flores and Yankee both had personal bests as well.
“I’m so proud of everyone on the team,” Billis said. “Winning the league is something we have worked for since freshman year. We have worked so hard and to have this outcome feels great. Can’t wait for what the rest of the season has in store for us.”
The ladies are on the tail end of their season, taking fifth out of 16 teams in the Oakland County tournament last week.
Other season highlights include winning the Lapeer Tune Up, the Greater Genesee County Tournament, the OAA #1 tournament and the OAA #2 tournament.
The team finished undefeated in the OAA White and ranked seventh in the state according to the Michigan High School Athletic Association.
This has been the most successful year for Wildcat girls golf and has been years in the making, the coach said.
“In the fall of 2020, I had 15 freshmen come out for golf, 10 of them are still with the team. Four of the girls – Ellie Gieselman, Keira Billis, Gabi Wait and Lexie Yankee – have been on varsity since their freshman year. As ninth graders they all had a great deal of skill and knowledge but had the potential to be great,” Gabler said. “As the 2020 season went on, we could all feel how special this group of girls was and how great we could be when they were seniors. When Katie Pill became a part of the varsity team last year, she brought an infectious passion for golf and sparked the team to higher finishes in tournaments.
At the start of the season, the team had their eyes set on winning the OAA and qualifying for states, which will come down to the regional tournament slated for Oct. 11.
“We are in a region jammed packed with powerhouse teams, including Rochester Adams, Clarkston, Troy, Lake Orion and Bloomfield Hills,” Gabler said. “We have beaten them all many times during this season but know that the only day that matters for this season is Oct. 11.”
By Megan Kelley