Pioneer Golfer Advances to State

Sharyland High's Erana wins 5A regional golf championship
Apr 16, 2015 11:28 PM

DENNIS SILVA II | STAFF WRITER

Some familiar faces in the Valley are returning to the state golf tournament later this month.

Sharyland High’s girls golf team, paced by junior standout Ana Jose Erana, earned a bid after placing second in the Region-IV tournament Thursday at Republic Golf Club in San Antonio. It’s the Rattlers’ third straight trip to state.

Sister school Sharyland Pioneer will also be represented, as junior Carina Hernandez finished in sixth to earn a bid to state after going last year as a member of the Rattlers.

The top three teams, and the top three individuals not on a top-three team, advance to state.

Erana won a two-hole playoff against Georgetown’s Brynne Bunte to win the girls individual title. Each girl went par on the first hole, and Erana went par on the second hole with a tap-in while Bunte bogeyed.

“I was nervous, but I just tried to keep my emotions under control and put a good swing on the ball,” Erana said. “The only thing I could control was that.”

Erana had already earned a trip to state after the Lady Rattlers shot a two-day score of 622 to finish second as a team. That was goal No. 1, Erana said.

“I was really just focusing on keeping a good rhythm and on making sure I didn’t let any shots get away from me,” said Erana, who finished with a two-day score of 143. “I kept in mind that every shot counts. I didn’t even think about me. I wanted to put a good score for my team.”

She had plenty of help. Michelle Moroles (155) finished tied for eighth, and Mariana Flores (162) and Raquel Flores (164) finished in the top 20. Christina Shinn-Roldan (172) finished 23rd.

Sharyland High finished 26 strokes behind first-place Austin Vandegrift and 36 ahead of third-place Alamo Heights.

“They played as a true team,” Sharyland coach Fernando Rodriguez said. “The girls finally started to jell together and function as one.”

Hernandez shot a two-day score of 150. She said a concentrated effort to improve her accuracy and stay level-headed through every shot is paying dividends.

“It was definitely the focus level that I was able to keep that was the difference,” Hernandez said. “I was thinking about every shot. At the district meet, I didn’t do my best. So I worked very hard just to shoot my best and see what happens.”

At the girls Class 6A girls regional meet at Brackenridge Golf Course in San Antonio, no Valley team qualified for state, but Harlingen High’s Hanna Greer did. She shot a score of 151 and finished 10th.

Brownsville Hanna was the highest Valley finisher as a team, closing in fifth place with a score of 704, 85 strokes behind third-place San Antonio Churchill. Brownsville Veterans Memorial finished seventh, Weslaco High 11th, Edinburg North 13th, La Joya Palmview 14th and Mission High 16th.

Spring Branch Smithson Valley won the team title with a 609, and San Antonio Reagan and Churchill will join them at state.

Weslaco High’s Anika Hovda finished 12th with a 155, four strokes behind Greer. Joining Greer at state will be first-place finisher Taylor Coleman (141) of San Antonio Johnson and Caitlin Brown (147) of New Braunfels.

dsilva@themonitor.com