The Gig Harbor Tides’ girls golf team, led by second-year head coach Shane Henderson, is looking for a jump in the Narrows League standings. The team finished fifth a season ago and has good reason to think it can move up because it didn’t lose any players to graduation.
“We were a pretty young team,” Henderson said. “We had seven freshmen.”
This year, the team is more experienced at the varsity level, and it saw its best tryout period in years.
“There’s a lot of growing interest in the program,” Henderson said. “We had 20 girls try out, which is uncommon.”
Seventeen of them made the cut, Henderson said.
Among the returning seniors are four-year starter Ries t’Sas, last year’s state-tournament alternate, as well as Anela Barber, a state participant, and Rachel Geringer.
Henderson hopes the work the team put in during the offseason will produce results.
“All the players that are returning from last year, they worked really yard this offseason,” Henderson said. “They picked up where they left off, and we’re going to move forward.
“We have a lot of potential. A lot of players are better off this year. Goal wise, we want to finish top two in the league.”
t’Sas, who recorded her best round of 88 last year in Spanaway, hopes to join Barber at state this season.
“I was pleased, but I definitely think I can do better,” she said. “My goal this year is to do better than I did last year. My big goal is to make it to state. That’s what I’m working towards.”
Henderson, a golf professional at Gig Harbor Golf Club, brings valuable expertise and insight.
“He brings a lot of good tips and tricks,” t’Sas said. “He’s taught us a lot about the game and a lot of skills that we’ve been able to build on.”
Henderson said the team’s success will come based on its short game. That’s where the emphasis in practice has been.
“I send out half of them to play golf, and the other half to play distance control from 100 yards in, chipping and putting a lot,” Henderson said.
Gig Harbor’s toughest competition will be Bellarmine Prep, which returns six seniors and has a track record of success.
Still, a top-two finish in the Narrows seems attainable, Henderson said.
“Based on the players other teams lost and where we stand, I think it’s an accomplishable goal,” he said.
The numbers are encouraging for the coach and his players, who see the interest around the program as evidence that they’re ready to keep improving.
“This is the biggest team we’ve ever had since I’ve been here,” t’Sas said.
Many of the Tides have “grown up” on golf courses, t’Sas said.
“A lot of these girls have been members,” she said. “They’ve had lessons, and there’s a lot of pure, athletic talent. We’re gonna be very competitive.”
gig harbor girls golf
March 19FossW, 102-11
March 25at Wilson3:15 p.m.
March 27at Lincoln3:15 p.m.
April 3Timberline3:15 p.m.
April 8South Kitsap3:15 p.m.
April 21at Central Kitsap3:15 p.m.
April 24at Mt. Tahoma3:15 p.m.
April 29at Stadium3:15 p.m.
May 1at Olympia3:15 p.m.
May 6Yelm3:15 p.m.
May 8Bellarmine3:15 p.m.