It had been 11 years since the Oakdale High School girls golf team won the Valley Oak League.
This year, a young group of golfers not only claimed the Valley Oak League championship, they went undefeated in the process. Oakdale won three consecutive titles from 2003 to 2005 but since then East Union had won 10 straight titles. The Lady Mustangs, undefeated in match play, continued their season long dominance at the Valley Oak League Championship Tournament with a first place finish to cap their perfect run through the VOL to the title, dethroning the Lady Lancers.
Oakdale carded a team score of 469, which was 37 strokes better than second place East Union. Oakdale’s team consists of two sophomores and four freshmen, making this feat even more impressive.
“They work hard every day, and compete every week. Just because they were new to the high school level, does not mean they were new to the sport. They came out and played like they belonged and now are champions,” Co-coach Lee McGhee said of the team’s accomplishment.
The young team was led by sophomore Taylor Stewart, who was named the Valley Oak League’s Most Valuable Player after her stellar season.
“We all want to win and are very competitive, but we are all very good friends and love playing together,” said Stewart of her teammates.
She shot a 91 on the day at the VOL tournament, good enough for second best overall in the tourney.
Chloe Liekhus, the other sophomore on the team, played in nearly 80 percent of the team’s matches and helped anchor the team with her leadership and experience, being a second year starter for the team. Liekhus shot a 112 on the day for Oakdale at the league tourney.
All four freshmen that helped bring home the league title were key pieces to the squad and landed on the All VOL First Team honors list. Allie Denning, Andrea York, Makayla Christiansen and Madison Blanc all received the All-VOL recognition in their first year at the high school level.
“All of us have been friends forever and grew up together too, so I guess you can call that an advantage,” Christiansen, who shot a 94 at the VOL tournament, said.
Oakdale was due to play in the CIF Division III tournament at Serrano Country Club on Monday, Oct. 24, after The Leader’s press time.
“Some of us have played at Serrano on our own, so we just have to give a heads up to some of the other girls what to expect,” Blanc added about the postseason course. “Honestly, every hole is different and every day is different.”