Varsity Kansas

Northwest girls golf copes with adversity

Northwest girls golf coach Marty Marshall was disappointed Monday afternoon that he wouldn’t be able to meet his obligation Tuesday at the City League coaches’ luncheon in conjunction with the league tournament at Sim Park.

“They’re going to show up with a bunch of side dishes,” Marshall said. “And there won’t be any meat.”

Marshall’s colleagues will likely understand the absence of his smoked ribs. The veteran coach spent most of Monday recuperating at Via Christi Hosptial St. Teresa after he was taken to the emergency room with an accelerated heart rate.

Marshall said he would be hospitalized overnight for observation after doctors sedated him and got his heart rate, which reached 220 beats per minute, under control. Marshall awaited a Monday afternoon visit from his cardiologist and hoped he would be released in time to join the Grizzlies for Tuesday’s tournament.

Northwest athletic director Lance Deckinger will accompany the team to Sim Park for its last regular-season tournament before next week’s Class 6A regional in Hutchinson.

The Grizzlies, state qualifiers and third in the CL meet a year ago, have already faced adversity this season. On Sept. 30, senior Amber Davis broke her left arm in an automobile accident on her way to a tournament at MacDonald Golf Course. The injury ended her season.

Unknowingly, Marshall drove past Davis’ accident scene on his way to the meet.

“It was shocking to hear that,” said Lexi Clark, a junior and two-time state qualifier who leads the Grizzlies in stroke average. “We didn’t really believe Coach when he said it. He usually jokes about stuff, but definitely not about that kind of thing.”

Davis, who played at state as a junior, had emerged as another top player for Northwest. She posted nine-hole scores of 42 at Braeburn and 46 at Auburn Hills against City League competition.

Without Davis, Northwest’s ability to challenge CL favorites Kapaun Mount Carmel and Bishop Carroll for one of the top spots will be tested.

“That’s a void that’s hard to fill in girls golf,” Marshall said. “What’s worse is she’s a senior who was pretty dedicated and committed to getting better.”

Another senior, Amber Goyne, has missed most of the season with an injured sternum. Goyne, who played at state last season, will compete in the junior varsity division Tuesday.

In addition to Clark, juniors Ashton Taylor and Jessica Aaby are golfers with state experience who will be in Northwest’s lineup for the CL meet. Sarah Crigler, Kaela Schneider and Lauren Thomas will also compete.

“We all have to step up because we lost a big part of our team,” Clark said. “This is what we’ve been practicing for all year.

“It was fun going (to state) last year as a team. It was a big achievement and we’d like to do that again.”