Protecting the tradition: Lady Yoe ready for state

In 2009, Emily Fuchs, Emily Dohnalik, Kelsey Hornung, Lauren Eichinger and Haley Vrazel made history for Cameron by advancing to the state tournament for the first time in school history. At that moment, those five girls may not have known it, but they set the precedent and built on a tradition that has become of the state’s finest.


Since that year, Cameron has competed in the state tournament all but once, and was not far off from getting in that year (2010). The 2017 set of golfers is carrying on that tradition by competing in next week’s state tournament from Grey Rock Golf Course in Austin. It is now the seventh straight trip to the final tournament of the year.


“The legacy that those teams have left and the hard work and determination they put in has built an expectation of what we have to come out and do every day to get better,” said assistant coach and trainer John Marek. “It's a yearly expectation. As soon as state was over, we were discussing what needed to be done to get better for the next year.”


The ladies put together arguably their most impressive two rounds of golf at regionals this past week, finishing comfortably in second place while sitting only 10 strokes back of leader Rockdale for first.


“Alexis and Keagan had two great rounds,” said golf coach Pete Magre. “The first day, Julia and Jazmin both had career days. Emily did not have the best day the first day, but came back the second day and shot a good round. I thought everybody participated and everybody counted. It was a good team effort. We were right there behind Rockdale and we just couldn't close the distance on them in the second day.”


With the consecutive trips to state, it will be hard to match the state tournament experience that is on the current roster. Alexis Magre has been to state four times, Keegan Galvan and Julia Harwell have been three years, while Jazmin Vaculin and Emily Graham are making their second trips.


“Four of the five have played at Grey Rock at the state tournament,” said Magre. “That cannot be anything but good. They have experience there with the course. It is just about playing well when we get there.”


Magre and Harwell are the two seniors on this year’s team, and both knew how important it was to get to this level once again.


“I think that the ultimate goal is to get to state and to keep the tradition and streak going,” said Alexis. “No one wants to be the one to break it. The favorite part of golf is to keep going and play all year until you can't anymore, especially when you're seniors and this is the last tournament you will ever play in. It is nice to say I played all that I could have.”


Harwell is currently playing her best golf of the year. At regionals, the senior shot a 95 - a personal best.


“I was warming up at the range and I knew I was doing pretty well that morning,” said Harwell.
“After my first tee shot, I felt it was going to be a good round, and it just kept going from shot to shot. On my 17th hole, even if I shot a nine, I wasn't breaking a hundred. I just continued to try to help the team out the best that I could. I was excited and glad I could help the team.”


Cameron did have a bump in the road mid-season when junior Keegan Galvan went down with a hip injury. Galvan has since returned and is now 100 percent.


“I had hip surgery back in September and the doctors did not know how long it would take to recover,” said Galvan. “I got back around January and I re-injured my hip in March, and that kept me from playing a few tournaments, but after working it out I'm finally back into the swing of things.”


Just like Harwell, sophomore Jazmin Vaculin had her career best round at regionals, coincidentally shooting a 95 on day one.


“The first round was the personal best that I have ever shot,” said Vaculin. “It was a very good round for me. I had some obstacles, but I was able to get over them. We shot pretty good as a team. Our goal was to beat Rockdale, but coming that close we really good for us. They had a big stroke lead on us at district, but only being 10 strokes behind is really good.”


Emily Graham was an alternate on last year’s team, but this go around will get to compete.


“It's a blessing and an honor,” said Graham. “Last year I was one of the alternates and this year I actually get to play. I have been with this golf team a while, and it's like family. It's a really exciting experience.”


Preslee Berry, just a freshmen, will be this year’s alternate. Berry said that her first year with the program has been one to remember.


“We all have grown together and we have gotten better as a team, said Berry. “I have gotten better individually since the season started, and it has gone really well. Alexis and Keagan have really helped me a lot with my swing.”


Now, all that is left to do is to go out and compete for a state championship.


“We have peaked at the right time,“ said Pete Magre. “If we go there and play good golf, whatever happens, happens. If we put two good rounds together like we did the first day of regionals, I think we will be in the hunt.”