PALMYRA, Mo. – The obvious goal for the trio of Olivia Sublette, Samantha Hirner and Reigan Parsons is to return to the Class 1 state tournament.
This year, however, they want the entire Palmyra girls golf team in the field with them.
"That’s the goal this year," Sublette said. "We’ve got to help them get there."
The Panthers believe it’s possible.
Palmyra’s top trio averaged in the mid 40s per nine holes last year, and are working toward shooting in the low 40s consistently this fall. If they can, that leaves the final two players to average 50 and give Palmyra a chance to send a team to state, which is at Fremont Hills Golf Course in Nixa, Mo., this season.
There will be competition for those two spots between golfers like Mallory Comstock, Maddie Jawad, Ella Goldinger and Mallory Sublette.
Palmyra won a district championship last season, and missed out on sending its entire team to state by just a few strokes. That has coach Chris Parsons confident.
"That district championship surprised everybody," Parsons said. "Having them back and golfers that were out here, I think it’s a good goal. We have a chance to repeat in districts, and I’m beyond excited to see if they can do it."
The golfers, however, know just setting a goal won’t get them to state. They have to work for it.
That’s what they’ve been doing this offseason.
"We’ve just been playing a lot more and play in more tournaments," said Hirner, who finished tied for 44th with Sublette at state last fall. "We also work on the small things, whether that’s putting or chipping. I think I played in just about everything I could since I had the time."
Reigan Parsons finished tied for 78th at state last season, which was held at Mozingo Lake Golf Course in Maryville, Mo.
Playing more frequently has the Panthers feeling like they’re already in a mid-season groove.
"The repetition keeps you consistent," Sublette said. "If you aren’t out here playing, you forget how you feel when you hit the ball."
They hope that sets an example for the younger players so they can put in the same work ethic to make a state berth. The senior trio wants to help them get there.
"It’s like we’re passing it on," Reigan Parsons said. "You don’t want to be too hard on them because we started out like them before one time."