During a sunny break in May’s then-rainy season, at the Canterwood Golf and Country Club I joined five members of Peninsula High’s girls golf team and its coach, BreAnne Toigo, who is also Northwest Junior Golf Tour tournament coordinator. The girls were polishing their skills preparing for the state tournament May 24 and 25 at Canyon Lakes Golf Course in Kennewick.
Toigo proudly announced, “The girls did a great job placing eighth in the state out of 65 schools. Next year we’re shooting for the top five.”
The top individual finisher for Peninsula was Riley Bass, whose two-day score of 170 was good for 11th overall.
For junior Cheyenne Kim, “Golf is both an individual and team sport; thus, you get the best of both worlds. For me, personal drive is to do better every round. It motivates me to learn more about the game of golf. When I’m struggling, the team keeps me going with encouragement. Qualifying for state has been quite a roller coaster. This season has had its ups and downs but I am beyond proud of both myself and the team for working tirelessly to get to where we are.”
“I’ve had the honor to be coach of this team for three years,” Toigo said. “I’ve watched these girls since their freshman or sophomore years. I can’t tell you how proud I am of the progress they’ve made. I’ve never seen a team work so hard to improve individual skills or have such a love for golf. Members came together to encourage and motivate each other to do their personal best.”
“My team drives me to play golf to my best ability because there is so much dynamic competition within the team,” said freshman Chloe Duttry. “I feel very accomplished going to state my first year on the golf team. Win or lose, I’ve learned an immense amount of lifelong qualities and skills from working with the team.”
“After winning the the league title last year and taking three girls to state,” said Toigo, “the girls came into this season more motivated to do even better. Taking five girls to state this year is something that has not been done in the history of Peninsula High School’s girls golf, and the whole team is extremely proud of the fact that we accomplished that. With the motivation from our accomplishments this year driving the team, I have no doubt that next year these girls will accomplish even bigger and better things.”
Team member junior Riley Bass declared, “It’s the challenge about golf that I love. Not one shot will ever be the same; there are so many different factors that go into the decision of the kind of shot you want to hit. Golf has also opened up many opportunities for me. I am excited to see where having this skill will lead me. It feels awesome going to state for my third year now, especially with the team. I am so proud of the girls and the huge improvements and accomplishments we have had.”
From the start of last year’s season,” said teammate Madie Graf, “I didn’t think I’d come to love this game. I was wrong. Once I hit my peak, I can tell you there is no going back. I plan to pursue golf in college and throughout my life. This game is forever and I’m glad I’m playing it representing Peninsula.”
To junior Sarah Nicholson, “This season has definitely been one of the most enjoyable. Everyone pushed each other to be the best they can be. We hold each other accountable. If you told me last year I was going to state, I wouldn’t have believed you. Going to state was always a dream of mine that seemed so far away and now it actually happened. It wouldn’t have been possible without the support of my family and friends and most importantly my teammates. I started my freshman year with seven people on the team. We now have 13. I hope the team grows even after I graduate. I can’t wait to see what Peninsula girls golf will accomplish in the future.
“We have very talented players people see on our varsity team in weekly matches,” said Toigo. “What they don’t see is the promising talent we have on our JV team and future players who will propel the team for years to come. Along with the motivation of the girls, we wouldn’t be the team we are without the hard work and dedication of our coaching staff, Hunter Bass and Bill Herron. They put in countless hours with the girls to improve their skills.”
And I had the pleasure of watching them in action!
Hugh McMillan is a longtime contributing writer for the Gateway. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.