By: John Raffel
Big Rapids sophomore golfer posts memorable season
Hope Thebo's sophomore season as a Big Rapids golfer could be a sign of things to come.
Thebo, was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Central State Activities Association and picked up first-team all-conference honors.
Big Rapids won the league meet at Farwell's Eagle Glen Golf Course in early October to clinch the team title.
“It was pretty awesome,” Thebo said. “I'm glad I did well this year.”
A solid season for the Big Rapids girls golf team came to a close last weekend at Michigan State University's Forest Akers West Golf Course.
The Cardinals qualified for the tourney by placing second at the regionals.
“There is a lot of good competition in our division,” Big Rapids coach Mark Posey said. “We took 10th place last year and want to improve on that finish.”
Big Rapids placed 12th at the state finals, led by Thebo with rounds of 94 and 93.
Thebo and Haley Geib are Big Rapids' returning players who have played at a state finals.
“Last year was their first year playing in the finals,” Posey said. “Hope posted her personal-best score last year on Day 2 of the finals with a 96. It was the lowest round ever posted by a Big Rapids freshman girl at the state finals. It gave her a lot of inspiration to continue to work on her game.”
Going into the state finals, Posey realized what Thebo's potential could be.
“She is capable of posting two rounds in the 80s and earning a top 10 finish,” Posey said. “Her key will be to build on the confidence that she earned while taking third at regionals.”
Thebo had a 95 average, was Most Outstanding CSAA Player 2017, first team all-conference; low of 80 at Manistee; is averaging 94 in her last all-conference and had a low 89 at regionals.
Thebo had her personal best of 89 at the league meet.
“Hope was solid all day long with her strong mental game,” Big Rapids coach Mark Posey said. “Her hard work at practice on her short game and putting really helped her out.”
It's Thebo's second year on varsity. She's averaging around 96 for 18 holes.
“I've met my expectations but I want to do better than I am now,” Thebo said. “I've improved much (from last year) on my short game.”
Her long game remains a strength. “I need to work on putting for sure,” she said.
Big Rapids hosted the regionals, which Thebo indicated worked to her team's advantage.
“We're all coming together,” she said, prior to the postseason. “We spend a lot of time on this course, I think it's an advantage having it here. It's a harder course and a little longer than others.”