Jeremy Papasso / Staff Photographer
Jeremy Papasso/Staff Photographer
Becoming the first freshman to win an individual state title since 2002, her first season of high school golf couldn’t have gone much better for Holy Family freshman Hailey Schalk.
As a ninth-grader in 2017, Schalk won all nine tournaments she entered, which garnered her Tri-Valley League, regional and Class 3A state championships. At this year’s first-ever 3A state tournament at Broadlands Golf Course in Broomfield, Schalk shot an incredible 6-under 65 on the first day to establish an insurmountable lead in her first state round.
With a scoring average of 70.70 for her freshman season, and averaging 69.66 at regionals and state, Schalk has put herself in a position to possibly be Colorado’s first prep golfer to win four state titles. But that’s a long way off and who knows what will happen.
For her accomplishments as a freshman in 2017, at least, Schalk is the BoCoPreps.com Girls Golfer of the Year.
“It was just really cool to be able to win all of our league tournaments, regionals and state,” Schalk said. “We got second as a team at state but it was great for all of us to win a bunch of tournaments together. Our team got really close, really quick, and not only were we all good friends but we pushed each other to be better.”
Schalk won’t turn 16 until February, but is already ranked among the top golfers in the state by any notable outlet and leads all Colorado prep players in the iWanamaker.com rankings. Just this week, she shot a two-day score of 150 to finish 6-over at Broadlands and Coal Creek to qualify for the IMG Academy Junior World Championships on July 11-14 in the San Diego area.
Though she has plenty of big-tournament experience, Schalk said her first experience with the team-oriented aspects of high school golf were both new and rewarding. With her leading the way, the Holy Family Tigers finished second in the team scoring at state.
“I think we have a good chance,” Schalk said. “We’re all playing a lot and practicing so we’ll just keep building like we did this year.”
After a several-year hiatus, Holy Family High School added girls golf back to its varsity lineup in 2017. In just the team’s first year back in the mix, finishing second in the 3A team race with two freshmen and a junior has left the Tigers eager for the 2018 campaign.
“We’re extremely proud of that season,” Tigers head coach Matt Schalk said. “It’s all on the girls for how hard they worked, which was really impressive. It’s going to put us in a position next year where our goals can get a little bit bigger. We still want to win league and win regionals, but I think we’re feeling confident now that we could be back next year and compete for a team championship at state.”