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LADY BUCCS OFF TO DISTRICTS...

Story provided by Rob Kiser/Piqua Daily Call
ITHACA – It was a historic day at Beechwood Golf Course Tuesday at the Girls Golf Sectional.

The Covington girls golf team qualified for district as a team for the first time, finishing third with a 388 total. They will play in the district golf tournament next week at Weatherwax Golf Course.

The day was a rollercoaster ride for Lady Buccs coach Ron Schultz as 20 teams were competing for spots at district.

The Lady Buccs finished behind Tipp City (372) and Greenville (386), but there was a lot waiting as the day developed. Alter took the fourth and final spot, with Fort Loramie and Troy finishing fifth and sixth respectively.

"I thought it would come down to six teams," Schultz said. "That turned out to be about right. I thought Troy would do well, but they didn't have a good day. Fort Loramie had beaten us here (at Beechwood) earlier this year."

The early returns on the front nine were good, as Ashley Johnson came in with 43.

"I thought things were looking pretty good," Schultz said. "Then we had a couple high scores and I wasn't so sure."

Things would soon take an amazing turn for the better when fifth-girl Cali Jo Deeter came in with a 45 on her front nine.

"I really can't explain it," Deeter said. "My swing just got better today and everything was working. I couldn't believe it."

Deeter capped off the nine with a birdie two on the uphill par-3 ninth on the Woodlands nine.

"I made a real long putt," Deeter said. "It was from pretty far away."

Deeter's score put Schultz's feelings back on the upswing and they stayed that way the rest of the day.

"When Cali came in, she said, 'Coach, everything was just clicking,'" Schultz said. "When she was on the driving range for the round, it looked like she was hitting the ball really well."

Johnson, as usual, played some outstanding golf to lead the Buccs with an 84, the second lowest score of the day. It could have been even lower. She was even par on her first six holes of the Creekside nine after shooting 43 on the Woodlands nine.

But, she was five-over par on the final three holes.

"I can't explain what happened," Johnson said. "I was five-over on those holes and only five-over for the nine. But, I played a lot better today."

More importantly, she will have company at the district tournament, Johnson's third trip to district.

"I wanted to get back to district," Johnson said. "But, I am really excited that the whole team is going. I think that is great."

Schultz was not surprised by Johnson's play.

"That (84) is a great score," he said. "All of the coaches will tell you, they had the course set up really tough today."

Deeter said the team wanted to do it for seniors Johnson and Sarah Ciriegio.

"It is pretty neat (to be on the first Covington team to qualify for district)," Deeter said. "Mainly, we wanted this for Ashley (Johnson) and Sarah (Ciriegio)."

And the Lady Buccs' depth was a key again.

While Deeter's score went up on the back nine (she finished with a (102), Amanda Fritts (101) and Sarah Cireigio (114) brought their scores down and Renee Otte (101 on nines of 50 and 51) was consistent all day.

"Amanda Fritts brought it back with a 46 on the back nine," Schultz said. "Renee (Otte) was pretty solid all day. So, we shot about what I expected we would. The nine hole scores were just a little different than I expected."

Greenville and Covington were done before any of the other four teams in contention's back nine scores came in.

"Every time I thought things were starting to look good, something would happen to make it look not so good," Schultz said with a laugh. "Our depth has been a key all year. We went back and looked at the scores. Even without Ashley (Johnson), we would have went unbeaten in the league this year. That is how good our depth has been."

Which led to a little history Tuesday at Beechwood.