BROOMFIELD — After a several-year hiatus, Holy Family has a girls golf team again.
Now that the Tigers are back in the fold, they're not exactly easing back into things. Leading the way, freshman Hailey Schalk isn't easing into her prep career either.
Ranked 25th in the world for the 2020 graduating class and first in Colorado by the Junior Golf Scoreboard rankings, Schalk has won both of the tournaments the Tigers have entered in 2017 and is looking like the early favorite for the Tri-Valley title and potentially more.
"It's been really fun," Schalk said. "The girls and I have become close really quick. Getting to play more tournaments and the team aspect are really fun. I love the team aspect and the pride for our school and I love working together as a team."
Schalk, who has been playing since she was 5 years old and played her first tournament when she was 10, has also led the Tigers to runaway team wins in both tournaments. She shot a 76 at Saddleback Golf Course to open the season and a 3-under 69 at Fox Hill last Monday.
Spending her spring break playing in an AJGA Junior event at Greenhorn Creek in Angels Camp, Calif., Schalk's ranking gets her invited to a number of national tournaments during the season. In the midst of her first prep campaign, one of the greatest challenges Schalk faces is balancing golf, school and a number of colleges that have already begun sending her letters.
Even with several full-ride offers on the table, Schalk is trying to stay focused on just playing and reaching her potential by the time the state tournament rolls around on May 22.
"To win state would be my biggest goal, both individually and as a team," Schalk said. "Mostly, I just want to shoot low numbers throughout the season."
Schalk's father, Matt Schalk, is also the head coach of the Holy Family girls golf team and a golf pro at Colorado National Golf Club in Erie. The Tigers have had a hot start because they also have Meghan Vogt, who shot in the 80s twice already this season, and a pair of girls who have experience playing for other high schools in Heather Stauter and Annika Achziger.
"Holy Family hadn't had a team for a while and Hailey being a freshman kind of leaned us towards starting a team," Matt Schalk said. "I was an assistant at the University of Colorado for a while so it's my first time coaching high school golf. Our girls are eager to listen and ready to learn and we're off to a great start."