The Woodstock girls golf team did not stay down for long under coach Anita Dodd.
After winning three consecutive county titles from 2015-17, the Lady Wolverines were dethroned last season. They also missed the state tournament, so Dodd approached this year with simpler goals.
“We just wanted to improve each of our games individuals then work together as a team to make it back to state for our seniors,” Dodd said. “Last year was very motivating to us. It showed the girls just how much each stroke actually counts in golf.”
Dodd, the 2019 Cherokee Tribune Girls Golf Coach of the Year, eventually did lead her team back to where it was accustomed to being, but the process began much earlier in the year.
With some new players joining the team, Dodd pushed the focus to preparing her players to compete and do well in their biggest tournaments of the season.
“We have had a group of girls who don’t mind practicing and playing a lot,” Bolt said. “We attended more tournaments than play dates. They each learned a lot from that. Caroline Goddard is going to be a successful player. She’s a lot like (former state champion) Abby (Bolt) in her desire to play.”
As the Lady Wolverines went through the season, Dodd said she saw more and more signs that reminded her of the success of previous years.
That we especially true at the county tournament, where Woodstock had to turn to a fourth-score tiebreaker to win its fourth title in five years over Creekview.
“That was huge for the girls,” Dodd said. “It gave them the confidence in their game and made them work harder to get to state.”
Woodstock may have picked up the momentum to get to state at the county tournament, but it still needed to handle business at the area tournament.
Playing in a competitive area that featured state champion Lambert, the Lady Wolverines had to sweat it out to claim the final qualifying spot.
“When I saw how much the girls improved and each one pushing each other, that’s when I knew,” Dodd said. “The region tournament was a bit unnerving. I was sweating our scores down to the last one in. You never know.”
Woodstock got into the state tournament and finished 11.
Dodd said the experience should help the young team moving forward. They will have to do it with a new coach at the helm after Dodd retired this offseason, but she said she thinks the program has the pieces to continue to thrive.
“I spoke with them about the new coach,” Dodd said. “They know that we need to up our game and participate in summer golf to continue growth. The three returning should be strong so the new coach will be looking to fill the 4 team spot.”