Specht makes return as girls golf coach and greets youthful squad

LADY BUFFS GOLF: Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020

Season Preview


Head Coach: Trent Specht (3rd season)

During his first two years as head girls golf coach, Garden City’s Trent Specht had the benefit of the No. 1 player in the Western Athletic Conference – Alyssa McMillen – leading the team.

All McMillen did was capture back-to-back WAC Player of the Year titles, and place fifth and second individually at the Class 6A state tournament while leading the Lady Buffs to a third-place team finish at the state tournament in 2019. Emma Kells, an honorable mention pick, also graduated.

But now with McMillen, and another all-WAC player, Grace Yi, having graduated, the Lady Buffs will regroup with a much younger, but still talented group of golfers, according to Specht.

In the late spring, it appeared Specht was off to other professional career opportunities, but late in the summer things changed and Specht returns to lead the Lady Buffs once again.

The cupboard is not bare, though, with sophomore Ryan Warren the top returner after making all-WAC her freshman season, placing fourth in regionals and placing 18th at the state tourney to earn a top 20 medal.

GCHS head boys golf coach Trent Specht, left, with 2019 Class 6A state champion Sion Audrain, and assistant coach Carlos Prieto. Specht returns in 2020 for his third season as coach. (Photo courtesy Trent Specht)

“Ryan had a great freshman season, and we’re excited to see how much she has improved coming into her sophomore year,” Specht said.

That improved showed immediately when the Lady Buffs opened their season on Monday, Aug. 31, at the Hays Invitational, where Warren shot an 84 to place third low individually.

Senior Rian Linenberger was an honorable mention all-WAC selection and junior Allie Sandoval is another returning starter. Specht has high hopes for a talented incoming freshman class as well, with Emma Ortiz and Jerika Garcia leading that group.

“We won’t be that good at the start of the season, but by the end of the season, I think we have a chance to be pretty competitive,” Specht said. “Hays has a talented returning group and would be the favorite, but hopefully we can give them chase and perhaps get them somewhere later in the season.”

Sophomore Kallista Rhoades and junior Hanna Plummer are also in the mix for challenging to make the six-player varsity roster, Specht said.

Season Schedule: Aug. 31-at Hays High Inv.; Sept. 3–at Hugoton; Sept. 10—at Dodge City Inv.; Sept. 14—at Liberal Inv.; Sept. 17–at Dodge City (Dual); Sept. 24—GARDEN CITY INV.; Sept. 29–at Hesston Inv.; Oct. 6—at Great Bend Inv.; Oct. 12—Class 6A regional, Mariah Hills GC, Dodge City; Oct. 19-20—Class 6A state tournament, Hesston Golf Course.

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