By Jeremy McDonald
That’s all the McKay Royal Scots have on the Varsity Girls squad with another two down at the Junior Varsity level.
Of those two Varsity Players, both competed at the Greater Valley Conference Districts in 2016.
As a junior, Kassi Funk shot a 210, teammate Reina Garcia was four-strokes behind her with a 214 tournament score as a freshman.
Lessons were taken away from this opportunity as they went up against big names like South Salem’s Ellie Slama and Ashley Zhu as they prepare for this year. Funk, now a senior and Garcia a sophomore.
For Funk, she even had a chance to compete at Regionals, something that she is holding herself to a higher standard this year.
“It showed me how many more advantages I could use and honestly it’s all about your mind,” said Funk. “Just being able to say I made it, helped me this year put more pressure on myself because if I don’t go to regionals, I’m going to feel like I feel like I took a step back and if I don’t make it to State, I’m just going to feel like I de-escalate so I just want to keep that momentum going up and up.
“I just want to stay, going forward and I want to make it to Regionals at least this year again.”
Monday was their first Greater Valley Conference Dual Meet at McMinnville, a tough and long course naturally was added upon thanks to the skies above coming down with that liquid sunshine Oregon’s Springs are notorious for.
It didn’t slow down the golfers from the GVC schools as they were divided and sent out in groups and as they played, every golfer tried to overcome the elements the best they can.
“Well it’s really hard and very challenging because you keep chuncking every single ball that you hit,” “For me it’s just that I know that I’m going to finish no matter what, so I keep that in mind.
“I remember what I was taught and keep swinging away how I was taught.”
They are the underdogs, the outsiders. They’ll have to make their own way. There’s no team scores for McKay as they are two-players short for the necessary amount to qualify for team points; so Funk and Garcia would have to make some noise individually.
Something that is hard to do since spots are limited at Regionals, at State, to go behind Districts without a team to be apart of.
“Our team is doing really good this year, we compete individually, not as a team because we don’t have enough people,” said Funk. “But last year I went to regionals and I want to go that far this year and I want Reina to go as well. We don’t have any funding, we fund ourselves so I think that it shows that we really put in the effort above.”
The excitement is there to prove themselves and showcase they are better than last years versions of themselves. That, though small in numbers, they can go toe-to-toe with the Zhu’s, the Slama’s, the Emma Beyer’s.
“I’m super excited because Reina has improved so much from last year, I think last year was more about her confidence and with me it’s about not letting my head getting into the way of that,” said Funk.
Reina adds to that as the sophomore builds off the confidence foundation she laid the year before as a freshman.
“I got to keep my head in the game and keep my heart strong and stay determined,” said Garcia. “Staying focused and being resilient will help me through the game.”
As they wrapped for the day in the rain, Funk shot a 119 and Garcia a 114 and knowing how they can improve moving forward, the excitement for these two Scots golfers is building.
“I’m really excited, we’re pulling through and our scores are improving,” said Funk. “This is the first tournament and we didn’t do very well but it just shows that from last year to this year, it’s already improved a lot.”