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Owasso Girls Celebrate State Championship

By MIKE MOGUIN
Sports Writer

OKLAHOMA’S BEST: The Owasso Girls Golf Team celebrates its 2017 Class 6A Oklahoma state championship in Ponca City. The team includes Katherine Horne, Faith Belmear, Alexus McDonald, Madison LaValle and Madison Foster.


DEAN ATCHISON for GTR Newspapers


One was not enough. The girls were hungry for more. They went out on a mission tearing up golf courses, with the goal of bringing another Class 6A state championship back to Owasso in 2017.    

“When they won state last year, one of the first things they said when they got in the van, was ‘All right girls, let’s make up our mind, we’re going to win it again,’” Lady Rams golf coach Ron Ramos says.  “They kept that same mindset through the summer.”

Things went according to plan. When the Owasso girls returned to the fairways in the spring, they won their first seven tournaments.

“They had a mindset with a goal for the whole year,” Ramos says. “To me, that just shows a lot to keep your intensity level and to remain goal-oriented for that long.”

Eventually, Owasso accomplished its plan to repeat as champions, winning the championship by 21 strokes (339-344—683) over runner-up Edmond North (349-355—704), May 5 at Ponca City Country Club.

With the win, it became the school’s first program outside of baseball to win state championships in consecutive years.

“It’s a big step. It promotes girls golf,” Ramos says.

While winning last year’s title at the Lakes Course at The Club at Indians Springs in Broken Arrow, they found themselves trailing by eight shots through round one. They came back with a 26-shot improvement to beat first-round leader Norman by 17.

This year, Owasso had a 10-shot lead after the first 18 holes. They remembered being on the other end of the spectrum a year ago.

“I think the girls were not happy with the way they played on the first day,” Ramos says. “I heard a lot of talk about certain things not being acceptable. We shot almost 20 strokes over our average for the year, so they thought they could do better. We knew that 10 strokes was not going to hold any good team back, so they were pretty focused when they teed off (on day two). They were hitting and started focusing on their putts.”

Despite carding five shots higher in the second round, Owasso got the first-place medals and trophy when it was all said and done.

“The wind was pretty good,” Ramos says. “Ponca City Country Club is a tough course. The wind to their greens were fast and hard. Anything that didn’t hit the middle of the green rolled off. It was a real challenge, and the girls had their mindset that they were going to go out and do it.

“Indian Springs (in B.A.) is a challenging course too, but Ponca City has more hills,” Ramos says. “It goes up and down, there is a lot of slope fairways, where Indian Springs has some hills on it, but the fairways are straight. On a slope fairway, if you don’t hit it perfect where it stays there, it will roll off into the trees and you’ll be in trouble.”

Junior Faith Belmear led the Lady Rams with a third-place finish, shooting 79-81—160. University of Oklahoma signee Kaitlin Milligan of Norman North was the state individual champion (73-74—147), with Sydney Herman of Ponca City being the runner-up (74-82—156).

Other golfers representing the Lady Rams were Madison LaValle (86-86—172), Katherine Horne (85-89—174), Madison Foster (89-91—180) and Alexus McDonald (96-88—184).

With Milligan and Hermann graduating, Belmear’s odds of winning individual medalist next year should be favorable.

“Her strength is she is very competitive,” Ramos says of Belmear. “She does not like to get beat. She is an excellent golfer with good habits, good training, good ethics, has a great way going about her strokes and does a lot of her stuff the same way. But she just has that will where she is going to try to beat anybody that is playing against her. She’s real competitive, and that fuels her up.”

However, Belmear is a team player who worries about individual success second, Ramos says.

Owasso loses two seniors to graduation, No. 3 bag Madison LaValle and No. 4 bag Alexis McDonald. Everyone else returns for its bid to three-peat next season.

Updated 06-13-2017

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