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How Sulphur girls golf is carrying on at state tournament after tornado hits town

By admin May14,2024

BLANCHARD — The Class 4A girls golf state tournament provided an escape of sorts for members of Sulphur’s high school team.

Just two days after a devastating tornado swept through their town, the Bulldogs showed up to Winter Creek Golf & Country Club with a chance to put everything to the side and focus on something other than damage and destruction.

“Obviously, I would like to be back home with everybody that I know because they’re going through things,” junior Reagan Watson said, “but I just tried to not think about it and still push through today.”

There were plenty of reasons for Sulphur to not show up for the first round Monday, but the Bulldogs were there and played a solid round of golf, ending the day in sixth place among the 12-team field.

Several tornadoes touched down across Oklahoma on Saturday, leaving at least four dead and 100 injured.

Sulphur, which is about 85 miles south of Oklahoma City, was among the most damaged towns and many buildings in its downtown area were left in rubble following the nighttime tornado. There was lots of other damage, including the destruction of the school district’s bus fleet.

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A Sulphur Public Schools van lays overturned among school buses after a tornado ripped through the small town Saturday evening.A Sulphur Public Schools van lays overturned among school buses after a tornado ripped through the small town Saturday evening.

A Sulphur Public Schools van lays overturned among school buses after a tornado ripped through the small town Saturday evening.

Watson’s dad, Luke, owns an automotive and lawn mower repair business in Sulphur. It was destroyed Saturday, but he still made the trip to watch his daughter compete.

“I think coming up here today just got our mind off of things,” he said.

The team stayed in Norman on Monday and will return home after the tournament ends Tuesday.

With the situation being so recent, Luke isn’t sure what he’s going to do moving forward.

“It’s too early right now,” he said. “Just take it day by day.”

That’s the mindset of most people affiliated with the program, including coach Linn Marshall.

“I’m proud of them for putting all that out of their head and coming up and wanting to play anyway,” he said.

Sulphur’s top player Monday was junior Paisley Eason, who claimed an individual title at regionals and also helped the Bulldogs win the team crown.

She was in fourth place in the individual standings following the first round, while junior Landry Couch was 41st, Watson was 47th, sophomore Emrie Williams was 61st and sophomore BrookeLynn Gaddy was 71st.

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Eason tried to just play her game and compete as usual, but what’s going on back home remains on her mind and she feels the need to help out.

“Everyone knows everyone, so it sucks not to be able to do that there and help out as much as you can,” Eason said. “But one of our girls was up ’til like 5 helping. I think it’s good to take our mind off of it a little bit, but it’d be nice to be back there.”

Sulphur has just one state title in girls golf, and that triumph was in 1998.

The Bulldogs are having one of their best seasons since that year and are grateful to be able to finish the year, even after the tornado.

“I think it was real good just to get away from it, play a little golf,” Marshall said.

Nick Sardis covers high school sports for The Oklahoman. Have a story idea for Nick? He can be reached at nsardis@oklahoman.com or on Twitter at @nicksardis. Sign up for The Varsity Club newsletter to access more high school coverage. Support Nick’s work and that of other Oklahoman journalists by purchasing a digital subscription today at subscribe.oklahoman.com.

This article originally appeared on Oklahoman: Oklahoma high school golf: Sulphur girls still competing after tornado

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