GREENVILLE – Jada Garland knows what she wants to accomplish in her final season of high school golf.
The Greenville senior has set some goals for herself that include lowering her average and getting back to the Division I district tournament, which will be held at Glenview Golf Course in October.
“I missed going to districts by two strokes last year,” Garland said of the 92 she shot at the 2017 Division I sectional tournament. “That has me pretty motivated this year.”
As a sophomore, Garland shot an 87 at the sectional tournament to advance as the second qualifier for the district field. Last year, she was the Greater Western Ohio Conference American League North Division individual champion, but her 92 at sectionals came up short of being a district-qualifying score.
“I had kind of a bad year last year,” Garland said. “It was disappointing to not make it to districts after going when I was a sophomore. I could have played a lot better.
“It was pretty exciting to go to districts as a sophomore though,” she added.
Garland had plans for plenty of golf practice this summer in preparation for her senior season, but then came a little adversity when she fractured two fingers and dislocated another on her left hand while playing basketball at a summer shootout. That left her unable to grip the golf club meaning she could not put in any of the extra work she had planned.
“I just golf cleared a week or so ago to start playing golf again,” Garland said. “My fingers were really stiff which made it difficult to grip my clubs.
“I’m excited to get this year going,” she continued. “We will have a lot of new girls on the team so we will be young.”
But Garland won’t be alone as a senior on the team. She will be joined by Kylie Beam and Maddy Breig giving the Lady Wave a balance of experience and inexperience.
“It’s crazy that it is senior year already,” Garland said. “It’s just so hard to believe. Time has flown by.”
Coming into high school as a freshman, Garland said she was planning to play volleyball as she had done in middle school. But right before school started that year, she switched to golf.
“My brother (Dylan Garland) and my dad (Clyde Garland) are pretty good golfers and I had played with them some,” Garland said. “So it was just something I did because I felt I would have the opportunity to do better in golf.
“They both encouraged me to play golf at school,” she continued. “I wanted to do both golf and volleyball but they wouldn’t let me. With the way everything has gone though I am very happy that I made that switch. I still love volleyball, but I like golf a lot better.”
Garland also plays for the Lady Wave basketball team in the winter season. She hopes she can play golf in college, but if not it won’t be the end of the world. She has 4.0 GPA and hopes she can get some academic scholarships to help. She currently has her eyes on attending Wright State University, but is undecided on a major.
“I’ll probably fall into the business field somewhere,” she said. “And golf is definitely not out of the question.”
Among her favorite memories on the links is making it to the district tournament her sophomore year and winning the GWOC North individual title last year.
“I’m excited and sad too,” Garland said. “I can’t wait to meet the new girls and do everything I can to help this team win a GWOC title. But I don’t want to end either even though I know it will.”
The Lady Wave open their season on Saturday at National Trail.
The Daily Advocate sports editor Skip Weaver can be reached at (937) 569-4316 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow him on Twitter at @skipweaver65.