Maryville golf claims conference title

Senior Kylee Dougan finished behind teammate Emily Long for second place in the conference tournament Sept. 24 at the St. Joseph Country Club. Dougan shot a 98 and was one of four Spoofhounds to place in the top 10.

With the final turn of the season in sight, Maryville girls golf is striding past its own expectations.

The Spoofhounds have hit their season goals thus far , claiming the Midland Empire Conference title and several personal bests., But the show has yet to hit its grand stage.

As Maryville steps to the tee-box, the ringing of pre-season plans riddles the brains of the golfers and coaches alike. The ultimate goal of facing off against the rest of Missouri on their home course, as a team is the boom or bust goal of the Spoofhounds.

One step at a time, they are gunning toward the possibility of their goal becoming a reality, and confidence has never been higher after claiming the MEC trophy for the second consecutive year.

On the ride back, the Spoofhounds brought home other hardware. Junior Emily Long finished the day at the St. Joseph Country Club in first place shooting a 95, while her counterpart senior Kylee Dougan finished three strokes behind to claim the second place prize. The team didn’t just rely on those two, though, as Maryville completed the tournament with four top 10 finishes.

“We wanted to retain our MEC Conference Title and we did that at the Country Club,” coach Brenda Ricks said. “It’s a great feeling to win conference again.”

For Maryville, the goal of making it to state is the main team expectation, but for each golfer on the Spoofhounds roster has a personal goal that drives them forward.

“I want to continue to get better from last year,” Long said. “My goal is to get top 10 in the state tournament.”

The expectations of being a top tier competitor in the Class 3 Missouri state tournament is something that the Spoofhounds have narrowed onto and projected their effort toward. This has been evident as the girls continue to improve with each passing day.

“I’m very pleased with all of the girls’ efforts,” Ricks said. “Most of the girls have recorded a personal best either in tournament or match play, I believe only two have not; that’s pretty darn good.”

As the year maneuvers around postseason time, the focus that has brought Maryville the chance to turn heads is their consistent short game practice.

“We wanted to improve our short game,” Ricks said. “This is an ongoing process as we continue to work on our putts and other shots around the greens.”

With career bests and the constant goal of improving whether it be in its short game or mentality. Maryville knows what they want to accomplish by the end of the postseason and will push themselves to grab the reins for the remainder of the season.

“Our plan is to go on and win districts and sectionals so we can move on to state as a team and have the home course advantage,” Ricks said. “We are heading back to St. Joe Country Club for a match, and we also have a practice round scheduled there for Sunday; we can’t take anything for granted.”

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