2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner

Area teams put girls’ golf, girls’ tennis matches on hold

Published: February 27, 2014, 7:10 pm, by Scott Kaniewski

Due to shivering weather and a lack of facilities around the area, girls’ golf and girls’ tennis fans won’t see any matches in Colorado Springs during the opening weekend of the high school season.  

In fact, it’ll be awhile before most tennis and golf teams from around the area take part in their first matches.

“We don’t have our first tournament until March 17th, and that’s actually earlier than normal for most teams out here,” The Classical Academy girls’ golf coach Bob Gravelle said, referring to the Titans’ first competition at the Pikes Peak Athletic Conference’s opening invitational. “Besides that, we don’t really get tournaments and competitions going until April — so we have some time yet.”

The girls’ tennis and golf seasons, however, are already on countdown to their respective state tournaments in mid-May. According the Colorado High School Activities Association bulletin, tennis and golf practices started Monday and competitions began Thursday. Yet no Pikes Peak region teams took part in matches.

Realistically though, the sports’ competitions won’t begin for more than two weeks.

“These girls aren’t coming out of the summer like the boys do. They don’t have the practice leading up to the season, so you want to get the most during the season,” Gravelle said.

Snow jacket kind of weather, for one, makes that a challenge.  Take tennis — Liberty coach Ernest Zamora said the unpredictable weather causes headaches and crammed schedules for most area teams.

“Most schools don’t have an indoor facility they can get into, so like us, our first dual isn’t until mid-March,” the second-year Lancers coach said. “That’s tough, because it makes the season so condensed with spring break in there. And then, all of a sudden, you have regionals in early May.”

Tennis doesn’t have it as rough as golf, however. Gravelle, who also coaches boys’ golf for the Titans, admits girls’ golf isn’t a popular spot for most schools like boys’ golf is around the area.

And while he believes a fall start could somewhat help the popularity of the girls’ sport, he said he doesn’t believe there will be any upcoming switches to the start dates or end dates anytime soon.

“I think everyone would love it if these girls could play during the fall, but it’s unrealistic. You couldn’t have the boys’ and girls’ season at the same time. There isn’t nearly enough room on the courses,” said Gravelle, who has seven girls on the team (the most he’s had since he took over three years ago). “I think maybe the sport would be a little more popular if it was during a different season and it didn’t have to compete against girls’ soccer and track. But that’s not going to happen.”

CHSAA did not immediately return phone messages on the matter.

Brent W. New, The Gazette

Twitter: @brentwnew @gazettepreps