--PRINCE ALBERT--Carlton Comprehensive wrapped up its golf season with a fifth-place finish in both the girls and boys division at provincials last week in Kenosee.
“I thought they played very well,” said first-year head coach Michele Hatley.
The four-member girls and boys’ team competed against qualifying high schools from across the province. The boys division was comprised of 15 teams and 73 individual golfers. Finishing in the top third of the standings impressed Hatley, as the competition was stiff, consisting of some of the best young golfers Saskatchewan has to offer.
The boys’ contingent was made up four students, two of whom are in Grade 9 and in the infancy of their golf careers.
Cory Sawchuck is one of those young golfers, but no one would have ascertained his age by the composure and skill he played with. The 14-year-old finished 11th out of 73 golfers and was the top performer of any Carlton competitor. His paltry two-day scores on the course helped propel his team to fifth place in the standings.
“On the first day I played some pretty good golf,” said Sawchuk. “I just couldn’t putt on the second day.”
Sawchuk said staying calm and hitting balls consistently well are vital for a successful round.
The girls’ team mimicked their male counterparts, finishing fifth out of 10 competing teams.
“That’s pretty awesome because girls don’t golf nearly as often as the boys do. I wish they did but,” said Hatley, whose decision to coach the team was predicated on trying to increase girls’ desire to participate in the sport. “And I’m hoping because I am a female coach that will encourage more girls to come out and play… They’ll see me and know it’s not just a boys league.”
Katherine Parenteau, a member of the girls’ team, has been playing golf for three years and said the sport has drastically benefited her day-to-day life.
“It helps me with my patience,” said the 16-year-old student-athlete.
Hatley said that golf has done wonders for Parenteau’s confidence in social settings. Her self-assured disposition on the golf course has trickled down, affecting her in positive and countless ways.
“Two years ago she was terrified to be in a group of people and now she was out there with a bunch of people and being excited,” said Hatley.
Parenteau was coaxed initially to the sport by the prospect of being able to spend more time with her parents, who are both avid golfers. After persevering through a difficult and frustrating learning phase, Parenteau now relishes any chance she has of hitting the links.
Cooke Municipal Golf Course plays host to next year’s provincials, which Carlton Comprehensive looks forward to auspiciously.