By Scott Halasz
JAMESTOWN — If Frankie Fife and Celine Freetage don’t have future plans yet, they may want to consider a career in human resources.
Scouring the hallways of Greeneview High School, the pair successfully recruited just enough players to allow the school to field a girls golf team.
For the first time.
Fife encouraged senior Bryona Hudson to join while Freetage convinced junior Alexis Abling to give it a try. As a result, the Rams have been able to play a full schedule in the Ohio Heritage Conference instead of just Fife and Freetage tagging along with the boys team playing mainly reserve players and then the post-season tournament.
“You can actually compete in matches,” Fife, a junior, said. “I asked Bryona because I didn’t think she played any fall sports. I was really excited. It definitely helped me and pushed me to be better.”
Freetage, another junior, was looking for equal competition.
“I get to be on a team, being able to complete against people who are my own skill level,” she said. “You can get a varsity letter.”
Abling didn’t need much convincing, Freetage said.
“I just said come out and play and she’s like ‘hey, why not?,’ ” Freetage said. “She’s one of the first ones I kind of approached. I went up to other people.”
It wasn’t quite that easy for Fife, who had to do quite a bit of work to convince the multi-sport Hudson to take up golf.
“She talked to me about it all basketball season about how people needed to come out,” Hudson said.
Playing for just a couple months, Hudson is closing in on being a bogey golfer. Her low score so far is 52 and she finally defeated the tricky sixth hole at Sebastian Hills, scoring a par 5 after carding a 7 or 8 in other matches.
“It’s awesome just seeing how much I can grow, and having a supporting team,” she said.
Abling hadn’t played sports since elementary school and has improved by 24 strokes since her first match.
“It’s nice being in something again,” she said.
But in addition to getting to interact with other girls on the course, the Greeneview golfers have been able to form a friendship that doesn’t always happen when teams are mixed with boys and girls.
“We are crazy (on the bus),” Fife said. “We talk the whole time. We never shut up. Talking with girls and talking with guys can be different. (And) I like getting to know other people from other schools.”
Added Abling, “We make fun of each other. It’s great to be a part of something and have fun at the same time. We’ve definitely gotten close with each other.”
Freetage also had some personal reasons for wanting a team.
“My grandfather, he plays golf and so does my dad,” she said. “I get to do what my dad and grandpa did.”
After a 216-234 win over Mechanicsburg on Tuesday, the Rams were 9-2-1 overall and 7-2-1 in the OHC according to the school’s website.
Coach Mark Mash is happy with the progress.
“They’re not nearly as nervous as they were,” he said. “They’re a little more confident in what they’re doing. They’re starting to self-diagnose their swing.”
With one senior on the team, the girls will need to work to find at least one replacement to keep the team intact.
“We’ll try to get incoming freshmen and say ‘Hey look! This is fun to do,’ ” Fife said.
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.