Eagle Valley golf sends two to state

GYPSUM — Bad news, the weather looks pretty nice for this weekend and next week down in Englewood. The coldest it might get is in the low 60s and there’s actually a 40 percent chance of showers on Monday.

Eagle Valley golfers Jessica Long and Sara Coulter may not know how to cope.

This Devils duo of sophomores is off to the state golf tournament at the Broken Tee Golf Course for the 36-hole competition Monday and Tuesday, having survived hail, snow, rain and cold during the spring season, not to mention losing their coach at the beginning of the season.

Things might be a little boring for the ladies down at Broken Tee.

“I’m thrilled,” said Deb Jordan, who stepped in as the team’s coach during the first week of the season. “They are thrilled. They’re both sophomores and they’re both going to represent Eagle Valley High School really well. I think it’s the start of something big.”

Long qualified for state by shooting a personal best of 92 last week at River Valley Ranch under dreary rainy and cold conditions.

“When the day started, I was feeling so good,” Long said. “I even parred the first three holes. I was really excited and kept my spirits up. In the middle of the round, I was thinking, ‘Maybe I can do this thing.’”

Regional qualifying for state is not like a PGA tournament where there are scoreboards everywhere. Long got back to the clubhouse and saw her score go up on the board. As more numbers came in, that 92, especially under the conditions, started to look better and better.

Long ended up seventh at the tournament and was safely within the cut.

Coulter had a little more of a flair for the dramatic. She shot a 96 and that put her in a playoff for the final individual spot. She went four holes in the pouring rain down in Carbondale before succumbing. She ended up as the Slope’s alternate for the state tournament.

“I was a little nervous and disappointed it ended that way,” Coulter said.

However, as golf fans have seen on the boys’ side in the fall, local alternates have had a history of getting the state call — Vail Christian’s Robby Bowles (twice) and Eagle Valley’s Bryan Brennan, to name a few.

Jordan texted Coulter with the news when she went online, looking for Long’s tee time at Broken Tee and found Coulter’s there as well.

That these two are going to Broken Tee is all the more an accomplishment, given the obstacles that had to be overcome. Jordan stepped in at the last minute to coach the team. Then there was finding a place to play as Eagle County finally got the snow in the spring that it was hoping for during the winter.

Jordan was effusive in her praise for the Gypsum Creek Golf Course’s efforts in getting the team — there were 13 and all — out on the range or on the links on a regular basis. In the process, the team also added an honorary coach, Blake Scott, an Eagle Valley alumnus and now an assistant professional at Gypsum Creek.

Out of the 13 Devils who competed throughout the regular season, Long, Coulter, Reagen Gass and Taylor Sandoval made the regional team. None of them graduate this spring.

The future looks bright.

In the meantime, Davis, Long and Coulter are headed to Broken Tee for a practice round to scout the course.

“It’s exciting to get the experience,” Coulter said. “Hopefully, we’ll have more girls come with us next year.”

Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or via cfreud@vaildaily.com.


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The VailDaily Updated May 17, 2013 11:01AM Published May 19, 2013 01:13PM Copyright 2013 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.