Young Patriots team prepares for season

March 19, 2013

By Christina Corrales-Toy

The sky was filled with ominous-looking gray clouds at the Maplewood Golf Course on March 14. The air had a decided chill to it, but the greens remained dry through most of the Liberty High School girls golf team’s practice jamboree against conference foes Mount Si, Interlake and Mercer Island.

Liberty captain Brandi Petryk, clad in a short-sleeved, neon green polo shirt, did not mind the gloomy weather at all.

By Greg Farrar Taylor Woo, Liberty High School sophomore, hits a shot to the ninth-hole green after taking a penalty for landing in the tall grass beside a water hazard.

By Greg Farrar
Taylor Woo, Liberty High School sophomore, hits a shot to the ninth-hole green after taking a penalty for landing in the tall grass beside a water hazard.

“I love today’s weather,” she said.”There’s no sun shining in your eyes, or rain. It’s perfect golfing weather.”

Petryk is the lone senior on a Liberty team that is undergoing a significant youth movement, with a team dominated by sophomores and freshmen. It is a trend that can be seen across the KingCo 3A/2A landscape, Liberty coach Michelle Warlick said.

“The league overall lost a lot of really high-level players to graduation,” she said. “I think it’s a good year to come in young because a lot of teams are coming in young.”

The 11-member Liberty golf team includes four freshmen and five sophomores, so the Liberty coach used the March 14 jamboree as a low-stress opportunity to introduce the group, particularly the freshmen, to high school competition.

“None of this counts. It is just a way for us to get newer players out who have never played a match before,” Warlick said.

Scores were recorded liberally for the practice tournament, but to the best of Warlick’s knowledge, it appeared the Patriots came in second to Mount Si, she said.

Petryk used the jamboree as a chance to get a feel of where she is heading into her final season of high school golf. She was mostly satisfied with her performance, except for a few pesky trees that got in her way, she joked.

“I messed up on a couple of holes,” she said. “I got stuck in the trees, but I love trees, they just aren’t always my friend.”

Promising sophomore co-captain Taylor Woo was less satisfied with her round of golf.

“I didn’t do as well as I expected,” she said. “Today was just a practice match, though, and it showed me where I am and where I need to improve.”

Liberty will rely on Woo and Petryk to guide the young team, Warlick said, but she also expects big things from freshman Maddy Smith.

One area the Patriots will need to improve on this season is the short game, Woo and Petryk said.

“Putting is always a challenge so we’ll get out here, when it’s not raining, and practice, practice, practice,” Petryk said.

Warlick said she expects the Patriots to hang around the middle of the pack in KingCo this season. While the group may experience some growing pains, the Liberty coach, in her sixth year, said she is excited to see the team improve.

“The kids I have this year are having fun, they’re good students and they’re good kids,” she said. “It’s just a really fun group of girls.”


Up next

Liberty vs. Mercer Island, Sammamish

  • 4 p.m. March 21
  • Jefferson Park Golf Club
  • 4101 Beacon Ave. S., Seattle
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