By Nelson Coffin
Despite the cold weather that has plagued the area this spring, the St. Paul’s School for Girls golf team is beginning to heat up in B Conference play.
The Gators are 2-0 on the young campaign after beating Mercy and St. Tim’s by identical 2-1 scores. They have already matched last year’s win total.
“It’s not a surprise,” St. Paul’s coach Edee Waller said. “But you never know about the teams you are playing. Kids graduate and other kids come back. Still, I think I have a pretty good team.”
The No. 1 player is Jordyn Sweeney, a junior who has the most golf experience of all the Gators.
“She has a really good game sense and knows how to shake off a bad shot,” Waller said.
After Sweeney, several St. Paul’s players could fill the No. 2 slot, including seniors Jesse Villager and Tatum Teodori and junior Devan Conrad.
Villager, Waller said, is starting to round out her game by driving the ball farther while Teodori’s competitive spirit pushes her to learn more about the sport as she plays more matches.
Conrad is the longest hitter, with Teodori a close second. On a good day, they can reach close to 200 yards.
Carson Jones is the next in line, using an unusually solid game sense for someone so young. The talented freshman’s game management skills are also a strong suit.
Junior Yunfei Zhang need to develop consistency to complement what Waller called “a beautiful stroke.”
Zhang said that while she has honed that stroke, she finds her mid-game and putting to be better than her work off the tee.
Even so, she’s happy she came out for the team.
Her goals, she said, are to have fun and make friends.
“Mercy had some super nice girls,” she said before teeing off against St. Tim’s on Wednesday at Fox Hollow Golf Course in Timonium.
Isabelle Rego, who is new to the sport, made the shot of the day against St. Tim’s.
The sophomore’s 25-yard dead-center pitch from just off the green won the first hole for the Gators, who went on to claim a five-up victory.
“That was a great little pitch,” Waller said. “In the last two days, she’s really been hitting the ball much better.”
Rego, however, was more modest when assessing the shot.
“I think it was some luck and desperation,” she said.
Regardless, of whether St. Paul’s was lucky or good, the Gators will have to be both when the conference’s only other unbeaten squad, Mount de Sales Academy, visits Fox Hollow on Friday in what promises to be some good weather for a change.