Girls’ Golf Hopes To Continue Great Culture

Positivity will be a big part of season

William Lyman, Co-Editor-in-Chief

“It’s right next to a prison,” says Anna Secor ‘20 of Parker’s Lake Golf Center, the off-campus home of the Blake Girls’ Golf team. The placement of the course, just off of Vicksburg Lane in Plymouth, adjacent to the Hennepin County Adult Corrections Facility, has become a running joke on the team since their use of the course.

The friendly banter is indicative of the excellent environment formed on the team. Each day, the golf team drives out west, either to Plymouth or the private course at Woodhill Country Club, to practice and get to know each other. “We are really all a community… we laugh together, and everyone has fun at practice,” reflects Secor.

The driving force of this team is precisely this: the spirit of fun and the love of the game. The element of competition and rivalry that is accustomed to so many teams isn’t given equal weight. Instead, the girls are encouraged to be respectful, outgoing, and honest.

Head coach Bryan Skavnak is critical in this culture. The founder of Be the Nice Kid, an organization that seeks to spread positivity to kids, parents, and teachers, Skavnak travels the state speaking and promoting his ideas of positivity, always encouraging kids to be kind. Be the Nice Kid has over twenty thousand followers on Facebook, as well as merchandise collaborations with Love Your Melon. The wildly successful brand informs the culture of the team, encouraging the ideas of respect and sportsmanship. Skavnak brings this philosophy to his favorite sport: golf.

In golf, the players count their own scores, making it very easy for one to remove shots to advance themselves in the competition. However, the culture on the team asks that players treat the game, and each other, with respect. “Everyone really buys into it,” says Julia Lucas ‘20 of the Be the Nice Kid philosophy.

The varsity team only consists of six members, yet both varsity and junior varsity practice together. The top six on this year’s team are Madeline Wethington ‘19, Secor, Grace Homan ‘21, Charlotte Morrison ‘21, Sara Richardson ‘21, and Audrey Wethington ‘20.

“That’s all we hope for in our season, that everyone is respectful, everyone gets to know each other, and everyone learns something new.”

In 2018, the girls’ golf team was off by five strokes to qualify as a team for the state tournament. Yet, this loss was well received by the team. This season coincides with the departure of longtime golf alumni, Maren O’Shea ‘18, Richardson taking her place on varsity.

Captains Secor and Wethington look towards a new promising season, with a young team complete with an inspiring philosophy. Secor reflects, “That’s all we hope for in our season, that everyone is respectful, everyone gets to know each other, and everyone learns something new.”