2019 season preview: Four players matches original team of 1973 for fewest ever in CHS history. Junior Jones looks for her third trip to state tournament, more

CHILLICOTHE, Mo. — A historically-low turnout for Chillicothe High School girls’ golf this fall – only four players, matching the original CHS squad of 1973 for the fewest ever – greeted new head coach Tim Marsh last month, but that doesn’t mean the season can’t be prosperous.
With 2-times state-qualifier Hallie Jones returning for her junior season and a second member – classmate Gabby Hapes – of last year’s state tournament-qualifying district and sectional champions also in tow, CHS will have – assuming good health – accomplished veterans comprising half of its scoring group in each match and tournament.
“We’ve got a mix of experienced and new kids,” Marsh summarizes, referring to the holdovers as well as sophomores Brooke Williams and Quincey Jessen.
“They’re working hard to improve and get better,” the veteran CHS assistant coach who’s leading a squad for the first time. “We look forward to competing.”
Due to a resetting of the date for their original season opener – the Maryville Invitational Tournament – from this past Tuesday to next Monday, that first chance to compete is due to take place at 4 p.m. today at Trenton in a double-dual with the host Lady Bulldogs and Putnam County.
Of “newbies” Williams – sister of veteran Hornets golfer C.J. Williams – and Jessen, Marsh reports they came in pretty raw.
“Their background and knowledge was fairly minimal to start out, but they’re very eager to learn,” he shares. “You give them a little ‘homework’ assignment and they’ll go home and check it out. They ask good questions and they’re not afraid to ask questions. They understand that they’re new to this.
“By the time we play our first match, I think most of their questions will have been answered, but I’m sure there’ll be some new ones after we play. They’re doing a great job of just coming to practice and being willing to learn and get better, both about rules and technique and mechanics and all of that type of stuff.”
Jones, a highly-experience youth, junior, and school golfer, has been very helpful in helping her inexperience teammates finer points of the game’s rules, course rules and etiquette, etc., the coach notes.
“She’s kind of taking them under her wing and helping them out with those kinds of things.
“She’s obviously a very solid golfer. She’s proved that the last two years and she’s looking to improve on her finish and lead these girls. Hopefully, that makes the learning curve a little less steep for the new girls.”
Jones finished 34th in the Class 1 state tournament last fall, shooting a 199 for 36 holes, after tying for 35th as a freshman when the second round was rained out after she opened with a 97.
She’s paced the Lady Hornets in season scoring average each of her first two years, including a mark of 46.1 (per nine holes) in 2018. She finished third in the sectional tournament, fourth at district, and fifth in the Midland Empire Conference tourney.
Hapes posted a 53.2 (per nine) average as a sophomore, but flashed her potential with a 41 in a late-season dual at Lawson.