The thought seemed silly to Parker Hoopes when she arrived to high school and began playing golf for Northwest.
Winning the City League? Forget about it, she was told, that is reserved for the top golfer from Kapaun Mount Carmel or Bishop Carroll every year.
But Hoopes has proven otherwise this season, as the sophomore wrapped up all-league honors on Tuesday at the City League championship at Auburn Hills. The sophomore fired a round of 97, tied for fourth-best, and finished with the fourth-lowest scoring average in the league.
Kapaun won the team title with 378 strokes, sweeping the first four places with Maggie Duncan winning medalist honors.
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“It has definitely been intimidating because I can remember last year everybody always talked about (Kapaun grad and now Oklahoma State golfer) Emma Whitaker,” Hoopes said. “It was crazy to think you have to compete with all of those girls, but I’ve found out that if you stay calm, keep your composure and just play golf, then you can really beat whoever from whatever school.”
Hoopes also accomplished something only a select few outside of Carroll and Kapaun have done in the City League: win a nine-hole tournament. Since the league switched to the nine-hole tournament format in 2010, Hoopes became just the fifth non-private school player to win a tournament and the first since 2013 when she won the second league meet this season with a score of 41 at Clapp.
She is a rarity, even more so in today’s City League landscape where only four teams have been able to field a team of four in every league meet this season.
“It’s really special these days because outside of Carroll and Kapaun, there really aren’t many good players and actual players in general,” Northwest coach Marty Marshall said. “It’s awesome to get a girl like Parker, who is just a good athlete. She works hard at whatever she does and she’s going to be successful at whatever she puts her heart into and luckily for me that’s golf right now.”
Hoopes was introduced to golf when she was 7 when her father took her to the driving range at Tex Consolver. She doesn’t specialize in golf — she’s a three-sport athlete at Northwest — but has been a natural at it with her ability to hit long off the tee.
Her success this season has been a nice surprise, but something Hoopes is dedicated to continuing at regionals next Monday at Sim Park.
“It really does build up my confidence knowing that I can play with them,” Hoopes said. “But I don’t let it get to my head because I know there are bigger tournaments out there and the bigger deal is regionals and state. I’m just trying to keep getting better and hopefully the end result will be better than last year.”