Gaels pursue Sunset repeat

How the tables have turned for Bishop Gorman girls golf coach Kelsey McCall.

Last year heading into the Sunset Region tournament, McCall had four dependable seniors, laden with experience, accustomed to success. The Gaels fully understood tournament play, having won the previous three state tournaments, and they would soon add a fourth straight.

This year? Gorman will play two freshman and four sophomores in the Sunset tournament, which tees off at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday at Boulder Creek Golf Club in Boulder City. Only Nichole Corpus-Massucci returns from last year.

Quite a change for McCall.

“Having been with the older team for four years, I knew their idiosyncrasies,” McCall said. “I knew what they were thinking, how they were thinking. I could trust them to work things out themselves, because they knew each other also.”

This year McCall has had to play one part coach, one part psychologist, relying as much on his ability to judge personalities as his ability to read a green.

“With the new team, when you see someone get frustrated, you don’t know if that emotion is harmful or helpful,” McCall said. “Some people can get upset and it helps them, and some people can get upset and it can hurt them.”

It has helped McCall that he can rely on Corpus-Massucci — a returning state placer — to reinforce his message. He said she’s been able to “help emphasize what I emphasize.”

Namely, preparation.

“You may go out and have a career day or a lousy day,” McCall said. “What you don’t want to do is go out there and feel like you’re not prepared.”

Green Valley should be one of the top teams in the Sunrise Region tournament, which tees off at 11:30 a.m. today at Sunrise Vista Golf Course.

Gators head coach Greg Murphy agrees with McCall on the experience factor. With a balanced team — two seniors, two juniors and two sophomores — Murphy’s focus is on consistency. He already knows his players’ tendencies, and how they react to success and failure.

The Gators struggled toward the latter part of the season, but appear to have righted the ship in time for the region tournament.

“We had (the players) sit down and write their goals down about a month ago,” said Murphy, whose team is a Sunrise favorite along with Silverado. “They all had a number that they wanted for them, and we want them to hit that number. That’s the biggest thing we’re looking for — consistency. We don’t want to see any of them blow up.

“But having a medalist would be a bonus, absolutely.”

That will prove to be a tough task, because Coronado’s Bethany Glassford is in the field. The Cougars have won two straight Sunrise titles, with Glassford taking individual region title and All-Southern Nevada honors last season.

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