The high school golf season has a short calendar and for the Stigler Panthers, it’s been a stroll down the fairway in search of the green while improving both their individual and team scores.
The girls’ team began the 2022 season returning the experience of four players from last year and getting a boost from the addition of two incoming freshmen.
Hannah Hurst Spearman, a former Lady Panthers golfer who returned to her alma mater as head golf coach, shares in the excitement for the golf program.
“The girls’ team has worked hard to lower our scores and we’ve had any one of our top five at the top of our scorecard,” replied Spearman, a 2016 Stigler graduate. “From start to finish, we’ve seen a lot of improvement amidst a wild ride.”
Senior golfer Averie Thomas along with Jade Maxwell, a junior, have posted the most consistent results with Top-10 finishes in multiple tournaments. Adding to the Lady Panthers success are senior Emma Goodman paired with Kinley Dill, a junior, and freshman Jaci Bray while Kamryn Upton, another freshman, keeps the qualifying competition contested for tournament play.
The ladder of the boys’ roster has been challenging all season long with five golfers solidifying their positions as the Panthers have won the Stigler Invitational and with three golfers in the top 10 scores, also won the Muldrow tournament played on the Ben Geren course in Fort Smith.
“For the first time in several years we’ve fielded a complete boys’ team,” replied Spearman. “The guys competition has been fun to watch and see how each of them have worked to lower their individual results while encouraging their teammates and simultaneously improving our team totals.”
Kaden Risenhoover, a sophomore, has won medalist honors in the Stigler and Poteau tournaments while finishing among the top scores at all six events heading into the Class 3A regional qualifier while Dawson Jones, a senior, has recorded a pair of Top-10 individual finishes. Sophomore Brant Bishop and a pair of freshmen, Eli Nixon and Wade Nixon. complete the Panthers tournament roster.
“While competing for winning results, both groups have become a team, on and off the golf course,” Spearman said in appreciation of the growing maturity of this year’s golfers. “We’ve grown close together, sharing in the circumstances of everyday life and golf while making friendships that will last far beyond the golf course.”