Members of the Lady Wildcat golf team celebrate winning the district tournament. Holding the trophy is Jessica Ritter, and behind her is Coach Jim Kratz.

After his Lady Wildcat golf team won the district tournament last week at Richardson’s Sherrill Park, coach Jim Kratz is glowing with pride for his girls.

“These ladies really stepped up and showed a great desire,” he told me. “We had lost to Richardson by 30+ strokes the week before at the Pearce tournament, but Annie Ritter and Sydney Carrington shot their best golf of the season at district. Sarah Weinberger has played steady all season and she really did a super job during this tournament, and freshman Madison Reagan really came through in the clutch.”

“The district champion is Jessica Ritter,” Kratz gushed about the Lake Highlands High senior headed to Rhodes College on a golf scholarship. “I can’t say enough about this young lady. She has been the backbone of this team for the last 3 years. She has qualified for regionals as a sophomore and junior. This year she gets to take a whole team with her. She put the team on her back and brought home the championship.”

“Don’t get me wrong, this was a team accomplishment,” Kratz added, “but as the captain she really got the team to come through.”

Kratz smiled as he recalled the way the girls cheered each other on. “Their excitement became contagious. They would turn in their score card and then come back to watch their teammates finish. On the final day when they realized they had won, there was a group hug in the snack bar.”

Kratz doesn’t hide his pride at the team’s achievements. “To the best of my knowledge this is the first time a Lake Highlands girls’ golf team has qualified for the regional tournament, so this has been a very special year for me and my girls. They’ve worked hard all year.”

Next week, the team travels to Waco for the regional tournament at Cottonwood Creek. They’ll play a practice round Tuesday, April 19, then compete Wednesday and Thursday. Go Cats!