The 2018-2019 school year was a big one for Heritage High School girls’ athletics.
A first-ever state title in softball, along with Elite Eight showings in basketball and soccer, helped the Lady Generals earn a top 10 finish in the Class 4A Directors’ Cup standings.
The girls’ golf team also did its part with an eighth-place showing at the state tournament and sophomore Lauren Self was an integral part of that success.
This year’s Catoosa County Girls’ Golfer of the Year was a mainstay all season along as she led the Lady Generals in scoring average, while continuing to hone her all-around game.
“I’ve been working hard, so it feels pretty good (to win the award),” she said. “We had a good year.”
Self said she was in the fifth grade when she got bitten by the golf bug.
“My dad plays a lot and my brother started playing as well, so I got started too,” she explained.
She said that putting and chipping were two areas that she concentrated on the most since last season.
“Those were my main areas of focus this year,” she added. “I can keep the ball in the fairway, but chipping can be hard sometimes.”
A steady player all season long, Self stepped up with the rest of her team once the postseason began. At the Class 4A area qualifier in LaGrange, Heritage finished as runner-up behind Central-Carroll and nearly 20 shots clear of third-place LaGrange.
Self turned in a team-low 88 at area, followed by a 94 from Caroline Bentley and a 95 from Kendal Harrell, as the Navy-and-Red put up their best round of the season with a 277. It was Heritage’s second straight area runner-up finish and their second straight area tournament score of 277.
From there, Heritage went to the 36-hole state tournament at Maple Ridge Golf Club in Columbus. Self, who shot a 95 in last year’s rain-shortened 18-hole state tournament, carded rounds of 88 and 90 to finish in a tie for 29th place individually at 178.
Bentley’s 184 (91-93) and Harrell’s 199 (102-97) gave the Lady Generals team scores of 280 and 281 (561), good enough for a very respectable eighth-place overall finish. It was the second straight eighth-place showing for the team at state.
With two more seasons left to play at Heritage, Self said she has short-term and long-range goals for her future in the game.
“I want to break 80 next year and (consistently) shoot in the 70s,” she said. “And I definitely would like to (play) in college.”