Girls Golf: Beaumont qualifies for state tourney as team for first time

10:21 AM, Oct 10, 2013   |    comments
2013 Beaumont School varsity girls golf team poses with the Division II district tournament runner-up trophy / Photo courtesy Sister Erin Zubal
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Close-knit sports teams often refer to the squad as a family to illustrate the strong friendship that exists between each of its players.

The 2013 Beaumont School varsity golf team doesn't have to use the term as a figure of speech, as the team's top three players - senior twin sisters Jennifer Corrado and Katherine Corrado and sophomore Elizabeth Corrado - are siblings.

"The Corrado family has kind of carried our team all year long," second-year Beaumont head coach Michael Thirion said. "They are the ones who have really improved over the last couple of years."

The sisters have helped this year's squad qualify for the Ohio High School Athletic Association Division II state golf tournament. No other team in program history is believed to have achieved such a feat.

After missing qualification for the district tournament as a Division I program by one stroke last season, the Blue Streaks shot a 358 at Punderson to finish third at their 21-team sectional tournament and scored a 352 at the district tournament at The Hills Course at Tam O'Shanter to finish second and earn a trip to Columbus.

Jennifer Corrado has served as the team's No. 1 player. She has improved her 18-hole average 16 strokes this season. She scored an 86 in the North Coast League Tournament at Quail Hollow to earn first-team all-conference honors and shot an 80 at the district tournament.

"She's been leading our team all year," Thirion said. "She's been shooting the lowest scores for us all season long."

Katherine Corrado, the team's No. 2 player, wasn't able to play much golf this summer due to a thumb injury, but her last five 18-hole rounds have all been in the 80s. She, too, earned first-team All-North Coast League honors and led the team at the sectional tournament by shooting an 83.

In just her second season playing golf, Elizabeth Corrado has improved her 18-hole average by more than 12 strokes this season. She scored an 87 at the Laurel Invitational at Canterbury and at the North Coast League Tournament.

Thirion described the underclassman as consistent.

"She just began playing last year and has been playing the three position for us all year," Thirion said.

While the Corrado sisters have rightfully grabbed most of the headlines this fall, the play of the team's No. 4 and No. 5 players - seniors Cassandra Heathcote and Elizabeth Mosier - is just as much a part of the reason the Blue Streaks will make program history on Friday.

While most teams can't expect much consistent scoring from those lineup positions, Thirion has been able to do so with regularity.

"Just about every match we go into, we have a good chance of our No. 4 and No. 5 players scoring for us," Thirion said. "Both of them are capable of shooting in the low 90s."

Heathcote qualified for the district tournament as an individual last season. This fall, she shot a season-best 92 in the sectional tournament and a 94 in the district tournament.

Mosier's average this season is 97.3 and she shot a 91 at the NEO Tournament at Wiindmill Lakes to earn second-team all-conference honors.

Thirion said the team has experienced increased success this fall because each player has improved her technique and mental approach.

"Mechanically speaking, all of the girls are a lot better," Hawthorne Valley Golf Club's head golf professional said. "Overall, the biggest thing is belief."

Thirion said that as the players have continued to mature, their golf IQ has gone up and they have begun to focus more on the process rather than the result.

"At the rate they're improving, I'd say they haven't come close to peaking or plateauing," he said. "The amount of time and effort that the girls on this team have put in is extraordinary."

Beaumont's head coach said he hasn't prepared a special pre-match pep talk for Friday. He said his team sets goals before each match. The Blue Streaks have done that for the state tournament, and as always, Thirion simply wants his players to strive to achieve it.

"My goal is for us to shoot in the 340s for the tournament, regardless of what position that puts us in," Thirion said.

While the team has continued its normal practice routine this week, Jennifer Corrado is well aware of the opportunity that awaits them in Columbus.

"We have worked very hard to get to this point, and we now see that the hard work has paid off," Corrado said. "The opportunity to make it down to states is truly rare, and we cherish each moment we have with each other as we go."

The OHSAA Division girls golf state tournament is set to tee off at 9 a.m. on Friday at Ohio State University's Gray Golf Course and will continue through Saturday.

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