Posted: Tuesday, 21 August 2012 5:07PM

Lady Tigers out to reclaim conference title

Republic, Mo. (For  -- In his 26 years of coaching, Republic head girls golf coach Howard Quigley has had a good amount of success. Not only on the links, but on the baseball field as well where he has coached a state championship- winning team. 

You don’t have that kind of success without being a competitor.  So it’s only natural that in looking at last season for the Lady Tigers, the first thing Quigley mentioned was something they didn’t win. 

“Last year was the first time in five years that the Republic lady golf team (did) not won the COC title,” said Quigley.

 Injuries played a part in that as Alexis Edwards was out recovering from a knee injury suffered while playing basketball.  But it’s clear what one of Quigley’s goals for the upcoming year is: winning conference.

There were positives in 2011 also for the Lady Tigers.  As Quigley stated, “Last year was also the second consecutive year that the Republic has had an individual win the district tournament.”

In 2010, Payton Rayl took the individual title as Republic finished second in the district to qualify for sectionals. 

Last year, Quigley’s daughter Allison tied with Glendale freshman star Sun Jung for the district title and advanced to state competition for the third straight year. 

Allison is back for her senior season and one more run at state.  She shot a solid 77 in taking the district last year, but struggled in a rain-shortened state championship.  Look for her to make a run at the top 10. 

Three other golfers return including junior Baylee Rayl.  She qualified for state as a freshman before falling just short in the sectional round last season.  She should give the Lady Tigers another medalist threat at every event they take part in. 

With Edwards’ injury last season, coach Quigley had to lean heavily on a pair of first-year players: junior Bailey Cornelison and sophomore Vanessa Nimmo. That experience looks to be paying dividends as coach Quigley states that both players have improved since last season. 

They’ll need strong contributions from both to contend for conference and district titles. And coach Quigley also cites two freshmen players, Emma Blanford and Caroline Blanford, as looking good so far. 

The Lady Tigers have a good base to build around for 2011. Howard Quigley, who is assisted by Curt Plotner, and his charges have a solid chance to recapture their conference title.

The competition in the COC will be strong and even stronger at the district level. But the Lady Tigers have the potential to make noise, and at this time of the year, that’s all anyone has.

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