LIBERTY, Mo. — One metro high school golf team has championships on its mind.
The girls golf team at Liberty North High School just won a third consecutive Suburban Conference Championship, and even bigger accomplishments could be next.
Smashing through expectations seems to be the name for these golden golfers. The girls at Liberty North are seeing their moment to shine statewide, having pocketed a three-peat in their home conference. The Eagles also placed second as a team at last year’s MSHSAA state tournament in Springfield, MO.
“It says a lot when you win it three years in a row, and that’s against some really good local teams,” Jeff Braden, who is in his 12th season as Liberty North’s head coach, said.
To Braden’s delight, the Eagles shot a solid team score of 327 at the conference championship last week.
“We can absolutely compete for a state title. I don’t think there’s any doubt about it,” Braden added. “There’s not very many public schools over the years that have shot the numbers we’ve been shooting.”
And leading the way, Eagles junior golfer Bailey Burkett, who walked away from last year’s state golf tournament with an individual state championship as a 10th grader. Burkett shot a sterling 143 (-1) to take home the trophy. Winning it a second time isn’t out of the question, but Burkett said she wants her to team to excel, too.
“Freshman year, we finished third as a team. My sophomore year, we placed second. It would be cool, in my junior year, if we placed first,” Burkett smiled.
“It’s cool to see how our hard work has progressed over the years,” Kate Braden, Eagles senior golfer, said. “The worst we’ve finished is second all year, so I’d say we’re a pretty solid team.”
This fun and fortune didn’t happen overnight, either. On two occasions last season, Liberty North set and then tied new records for low score in school history by shooting 308 as a team. That’s an average score of 77 per golfer, and it sets the stage for what could be a fabulous finish this season.
On Monday, Liberty North will tee it up in their district championships, playing the Outlaw Course at Paradise Pointe Golf Complex in Smithville, MO. The Eagles typically practice as a team at Winterstone Golf Course in Independence, MO.