Ladies excelling on the links

Pictured, Columbia’s Allie Leingang, left, and Waterloo’s Haley Faus went head-to-head in a match Sept. 18 at Annbriar. (Andrea Degenhart photo)

Two of the area’s top girls high school golfers are right here in Monroe County — Columbia’s Allie Leingang and Waterloo’s Haley Faus.

Leingang, a senior, is wrapping up her high school career in winning fashion, taking home Cahokia Conference league championship honors for the third year in a row.

And the leadership she brings to the team is proving invaluable.

“Having Allie around gives the girls a goal to shoot at,” said head coach Matt Duguay. “They see how hard Allie works and how good she has become and they want to try and get to her level. Allie is there to remind them what is possible.”

Leingang has been earning accolades since her sophomore year, when she won her first conference championship. Last year, she also qualified for the state tournament.

As a team, the Eagles secured their second Cahokia Conference championship, the first under the helm of Duguay.

“The conference win is a credit to the girls,” he said. “I think the key has really been all the work the girls have put into trying to get better. (They) come to practice and work hard to get better every day. They want to improve for their team and for themselves. They are a great group that cheers each other on and doesn’t want to let the other team members down.”

In Waterloo, the girls are holding onto a 19-5 record following a home match against Columbia and Highland.

“Depth in the lineup has been a key to our success this year,” head coach Dave Stites said. “If one of the better players does not play well there was always a fifth or sixth player that would come in with a good score to help out the team.”

Sophomore Haley Faus has been instrumental in setting the winning tone on the team.

“Haley has the ability to not let a bad score on a given hole get her down,” Stites said. “Her attitude towards herself and towards her teammates have kept the spirits high enabling all the girls to go out and have fun and not worry about final scores.”

And with big matches still ahead as the teams enter regional play next week, both coaches are focusing on practicing, being prepared, and enjoying the ride.

“Really all they can do is just try their best and be happy with the outcome,” Duguay said.

Stites agreed.

“Remember that this is a game and to have fun and enjoy the experience.”

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