The Cherokee High School Lady Braves golf team, coached by Sharon Bradley, has qualified three players for the Regional Competition. Elle Bradley, Destinie Owle, and Gabby Thompson have scored 55 or better, which is the requirement to compete regionally. All three ladies are seniors and have competed for the past three years. They are also members of the Cherokee High School Honor Society. Other members of the team include Angel Saine, Tysha Sampson, and Emily Kayonnie.
“I like playing because I get to meet other people,” said Elle Bradley. “I have made friends from other schools through golf. It is not like other sports where you see other teams as rivals. Ultimately, it comes down to you playing the course and doing the best you can do. It doesn’t really feel competitive. You’re just out there having fun.”
Owle commented, “I like golf because it gives you chances to show other people and schools how well you can play.
Owle has been playing for two years and qualified for Regionals last year as well. “I did okay for my first time to regionals. I wasn’t on top of my game due to being sick. I would love to make it to state, but I would mostly love to improve from how I played last year.”
Thompson missed Regionals last year by one stroke. “I was so disappointed, but still went to support the team. This is the first time I actually get to play at Regionals. It’s going to be difficult from what I saw last year. It’s going to be intense.”
The Lady Braves have played 12 matches at golf courses around Western North Carolina. Cherokee High School does not have a conference for 1A competition so they have to compete with the AA , AAA, and AAAA schools. There are seven matches left before Regional Competitions, giving the remaining first year ladies an opportunity to qualify.
Regionals will be held at Meadowbrook Golf Course in Rutherfordton on Monday, Oct. 22. State competition will be determined from scores from those matches. Hannah Youngdeer was the first player from Cherokee to make regionals, in 2009 and 2010. Last year, there were five Lady Braves who qualified. They have yet to make it to State competition, but they are working hard to get there.
“Sequoyah National pro, Ryan Ott, along with his staff, has played a big part in the success of our golf programs here at Cherokee High School,” said coach Bradley. “They should be commended for their dedication, patience and availability to our students. We would also like to thank the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians for their making this opportunity available to our students and community through their continued support of Sequoyah National golf course.”
– Cherokee Central Schools