Ryan Brammer liked what he saw, and what he saw was progress.
Cathedral High School girls golf made plenty of that in 2022, and the result was a successful season of growth – with potentially a very bright future.
Brammer, the Irish’s girls golf coach, said the program overcame a difficult start in the fall of ‘22 because of sickness within the team in late August and early September. The Irish peaked after that with a strong finish in the postseason.
“This is definitely a step forward in a major direction,” Brammer said.
The young Irish featured just one senior on the varsity in ‘22 – and after a strong finish in the City Tournament, they turned in a third-place finish as they hosted the Maple Creek Sectional. The Irish shot 397 at the sectional to finish behind Park Tudor at 380 and Lawrence Central at 393.
They then shot 390 to finish seventh at the Region 4 Tournament at Edgewood Golf Club.
“The objective is always playing well in September,” Brammer said. “It always starts with the city championship. We accomplished that. We played well in September and now that the girls have done that, they’ve definitely set a goal of making it to the state finals next year, which will be really cool.
“The whole idea behind this season was we were going to use our experience and the offseason work to get to where we wanted to be.”
Brammer said the Irish got to full strength from a health standpoint around the City Tournament in mid-September.
“You really want to be playing your best golf in September,” he said. “We got healthy, and we didn’t win the City Championship, but we played well as a team. We left some shots on the course, but we used the city to get that positive momentum that definitely helped us secure that third place at the sectional.”
Junior Tillie Browning, who Brammer said “played really well at the right times all season,” led the Irish at No. 1 throughout the season and finished third by shooting an 86 at the sectional. Senior Allison Haug shot 97 at the sectional followed by junior Jacquie Piper at 106, sophomore Amelia Buhner at 108 and junior Izzy Marasco at 112.
Brammer called Haug’s season-low 97 at sectional key.
“It couldn’t have come at a better time to get us into that Top 3,” Brammer said.
Browning shot 90 at the regional tournament with Piper shooting 96, Marasco shooting 100, Buhner shooting 104 and Haug shooting 109.
“The team started playing really well on the back nine,” Brammer said. “That was what they learned in September. They adopted the attitude of, ‘Eighteen holes is a marathon and not a sprint and I can improve on the back nine.’ We improved as a team extremely well at sectional and regional.”
Brammer said the Irish also got important contributions from junior Chloe Cox, freshman Katie Boggs and first-year senior Abbey Nierste throughout the season. All contributed to an Irish girls program that featured 20 golfers in 2022.
“Our depth chart was pretty deep, not only from a playing perspective, but from a support perspective into the jayvee ranks,” Brammer said. “That’s another thing that’s promising about how we’re trending moving forward. Our numbers are fine.
“It’s just kind of getting that depth chart to do that extra to get scoring lower, to where we want to be – which is returning to the state championship and playing our best.”
Brammer said the goal for 2023 is very definitely that – a strong postseason run and an appearance in the state championship for the 10th time in program history.
“This was a huge step in the right direction,” Brammer said. “The girls lined up at the scoreboard after regional saying, ‘Hey, we left shots out there and we’re only 15 strokes from making it to the state finale.’ Seeing that kind of happen in front of them was extra motivation, definitely.
“We’ve got all these golfers coming back and we’ve got some younger players who stepped up. What the girls do extra will get us to that state championship next year. We’ll have a crack at returning to the state championship next year. How this season went is definitely the recipe. Everything is aligning for that, is how we’re looking at it.”