Girls golf attempts to overcome huge loss

Grace Hasley, Assistant Feature Editor

The Milford girls golf team is really getting into the swing of things this season after dealing with a difficult situation for some time.

The team has had to try to focus on golf while its former coach Jim Sander was battling cancer. Milford Math teacher Jim Sander was the varsity coach for many years and stepped down to be the the JV coach last season because of his diagnosis. Although he gave it his all, Sanders sadly passed away Tuesday, Sept. 22.

“He was great coach,” said Senior Emma Albert. “The other day I was at practice getting ready to practice my swing and I started to remember all drills he would have me do. That was one thing that made him such a great coach, he showed that he cared for every girl on the team and he made time to work with every girl separately.”

This has taken an emotional toll on the team, but the girls have tried to do their best and focus on their competitions.

On Aug. 22, the varsity team started off the season by finishing in 5th place at the Hartland Invite.

According to Albert, they didn’t do too well last season, which makes that strong finish even better.

“Last year, when I was a junior and the previous senior class had left, we didn’t really have our good players like we did before, but this year we have a lot more potential. We’re pretty good.”

At the KLAA Conference tournament, on Aug. 31, the Lady Mavs placed 3rd with a score of 345. The team is now coached by long-time assistant Hugh Felt. 

“Felt has a bunch of tools to help with our skills, which is definitely helping us improve,” said Rachel Beether, a sophomore on JV who often gets pulled up for varsity matches.

The team said its focus level on the game has improved this year.

“The season last year wasn’t taken very seriously. But this year, the team has different priorities and we definitely are going to do better,” said Justine Vernier, a sophomore on the JV team.


At their most recent match on Sept. 16th, the varsity team not only finished in first place, but they also beat rival Lakeland, 184-187.

“This year, I’m really excited to start shooting lower, in the 70’s hopefully,” said Albert as she talked about her goals for the season.

Vernier and Beether both agree that the team is competitive, but it’s a friendly competitiveness that makes practices more fun.

“Golf is a big commitment,” Albert said. “If you’re not into that, then don’t do it. But it’s a lot of fun, the team has a lot of fun together, and the practices are great.”

Vernier explains that even if you don’t think you’re the best at golf, the team is very supportive and encouraging, so improving your skills won’t be impossible. She also said how the team has a practice team where the newer girls who made the team from tryouts can work on their golf skills.

“Even though golf is kind of an independent sport, you still get to go meet a lot of new people and make a bunch of great memories,” said Beether.

This season for girls golf season is something to look out for to see the improvements throughout the year.