ONEIDA — Jessie Staed teed off Monday at the WIAA girls state golf tournament at University Ridge in Verona and the Notre Dame senior had high hopes.
Staed, now a four-time participant at the state tournament, was looking to make her mark in her last high school tournament by at least contending for a state title. In her previous state trips, Staed placed, 14th, 11th and seventh, respectively.
The Tritons senior is averaging less than 37 strokes per nine holes this season, has won 9 of 16 events and has shot par or better eight times. She seems primed to contend for a title.
“The impressive thing is she has continued to improve, continued to get better over the course of four years,” Notre Dame coach Brian Bobinski said. “Always looking to identify weaknesses in her game, try to do the different things she has to do to address them and make the jump for good to great to really, really great.”
Watch Staed swing a club and it’s hard to find a weakness. She hits the ball about 250 yards off the tee, and said her chipping and putting is her strength. Staed shot 72 to win the sectional title at Thornberry Creek where she holds the course record with a 68, and Bobinski believes she could win a state title.
“Absolutely,” Bobinski said. “She’s extremely talented, she’s played with every one of the best players in the state this year, beaten all of them at some point or another. It’s a two-day thing, it’s kind of flukey some times. You got to be on top of your game for those two days.”
“Goal is to be in the top five, maybe win it if I play very well,” Staed said.
Staed has her goal, but also believes her team can do well. And she should know her team well as her sisters Jacque (senior) and Stephanie (sophomore) are also on the team.
Notre Dame placed one shot out of second place in the Division 1 state tournament last season.
“I think we can win state,” Staed said. “I always think we can win state. You just have to have a good attitude going into the round, make sure that you’re happy and don’t give up.”
Notre Dame has defeated every contender at the state tournament this season and Staed has defeated every individual who might challenge for medalist honors.
Staed knows she’ll need help for a team title but regardless of what happens she has had a historic season. Her 36.72 nine-hole average is better than Erin Sharpee’s program record of 38.16.
That’s why Division 1 colleges are looking at her, including Iowa, Loyola (Chicago) and Stetson (DeLand, Florida)
Her next step will be college golf but, who knows, she might do more.
“I hope just to play college golf, so far, and I just hope to carry that on when I get older and become an instructor or something like that,” she said. “Maybe play on the LPGA, but I’m not sure about that. That’s too far away.”
It may not be that far off if Staed keeps playing like she is.
Follow Doug Ritchay on Twitter @dougritchay
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