Northwest’s Lexi Clark burst onto the City League girls golf scene a year ago as a freshman and has not skipped a beat as a sophomore.
Once again, Clark — who also excelled in the spring on the Grizzlies’ soccer team — is among the league’s leading individual golfers heading into Wednesday’s league championship at MacDonald Golf Course.
"She’s just a good athlete for being a sophomore,” Grizzlies coach Marty Marshall said. “She’s got a lot of raw talent, and she takes to it so naturally.”
Marshall said Clark’s strong lower body helps her golf game. Most girls tend to be able to drive the ball straight, but Clark drives it straight with power.
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Being successful came as a bit of a surprise to Clark.
“I didn’t expect it,” she said. “I wasn’t very good to begin with.”
Clark’s grandfather is an avid golfer, someone who greatly influenced Lexi, Marshall said.
Playing golf has helped her in soccer, Clark said, because it helped to teach her patience.
As for soccer — Clark’s admitting favorite between the two sports — coach Bobby Bribiesca talks enthusiastically about Clark.
“She’s a warrior who loves to compete,” Bribiesca said. “As a freshman, she displayed leadership skills and was a sparkplug for our team.
“She plays like an upperclassman. She isn’t a big player, but she’s a strong player.”
Sharing Clark with golf isn’t a problem, Bribiesca said.
“I’m happy she is playing golf,” he said. “She’s making coach Marshall’s job easy. She has a great attitude and is someone who wants to get better.”
Bribiesca said golf also keeps Clark from becoming burned out on sports.
“She can play another sport, then be ready for soccer,” he said.
Marshall appreciates having Clark on the team, and wonders what lies ahead.
“She could be really good,” he said. “Who knows what she could end up doing?”
Marshall cites Clark’s competitive drive as a reason for her continued success.
This year, the Grizzlies golf team added another sophomore soccer player, Ashton Taylor, who was a key player during the regular season as a freshman before suffering an injury that caused her to miss the postseason.
Aside from having a friend on the team, Clark said that Taylor, her teammate on a club soccer team as well, also has a competitive nature that helps her to keep her skills sharp.
The AVCTL began its league tournaments Tuesday and will conclude them on Thursday with the Division I tourney at Carey Park Golf Course in Hutchinson and Division II competing at Hesston.