South Haven golfer Sydney Barnes

South Haven’s Sydney Barnes tees off on the 15th hole during the Division 4 state finals at Forest Akers West golf course on the campus of Michigan State University. Barnes finished the match with a 98.

South Haven’s varsity girls golf team made history last week by becoming the first Lady Rams golf team to qualify for the state finals.

The Rams made the trek Friday to East Lansing to compete in the Division 4 tournament at Forest Akers West golf course on the campus of Michigan State University, and settled for 15th place out of 18 teams.

“But, I don’t think that tells the whole story,” South Haven Coach Barry Shanley said.

After playing the first few holes, the Rams were actually in sixth place.

“Then a couple girls had a couple of bad holes and we found ourselves in 16th place,” Shanley remarked.

The team regrouped and rose higher in the ranks to 11th place.

“But then the bottom kind of fell through,” Shanley said. “We had three of our girls finish with two par 3s out of the last 5 holes...and we took 7s or 8s on all of the par 3s we had left. Totally uncharacteristic play for us ... Our team score was 37 strokes higher than our average. As was the case for most teams in the very cold weather.”

As a team the Rams finished the tournament with a combined score of 425.

Sydney Barnes led South Haven with 98 strokes; Abby Bocock, followed with 100, Jenna Ridley, 113; Hannah Kaczmarek, 114 and Samantha Bocock, 119.

“It’s been my experience the first time a team makes the finals, their adrenaline is in super overdrive, Shanley said. “ I truly believe that had the girls been able to have a second round, which we didn’t because of Covid, we would have finished much higher.

“The legacy of these players is secure because they are the first to make it all the way to the state finals. As a coach, I couldn’t be prouder of them or happier for them.”