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North Hardin senior Lydia Gumm capped off her season the same way she’s done the previous six.
Gumm was named the Area Player of the Year for a record seventh consecutive year on the annual News-Enterprise/Coaches Girls’ All-Area Golf Team. Since The News-Enterprise began doing postseason awards, no player from any sport has won the top honor this many times.
Gumm was a unanimous choice, receiving all four possible first-place votes. She totaled 20 points to easily top Elizabethtown freshman Lauren Hartlage, who had 12 points. Central Hardin senior Amanda Smith finished third with 10.
“It’s definitely a huge honor,” Gumm said. “I’m very appreciative to the coaches. This area has made me the golfer I am. This area has had a lot of great golfers, so it’s definitely an honor to me.”
This season, Gumm won six invitational tournaments and was runner-up three times. She also won the Girls’ 3rd Region Tournament championship at Lindsey Golf Course, firing a 6-under-par 66 – her lowest score in a region tournament. Gumm capped her career with a second-place finish at the Leachman Buick-GMC-Cadillac/KHSAA Girls’ State Championship.
“I felt like I had a good season,” Gumm said. “I was happy to win region with my best score. That was pretty neat. I finished second at State. I really wanted to win, but I’m so proud to finish second. To win Miss Golf again, that was a good way to go out. It shows all the hard work pays off.”
Gumm enjoyed one of the best high school careers in the state of Kentucky. She won Kentucky’s Miss Golf a record five times and made the All-State team a record seven times.
Gumm played in 10 consecutive state tournaments. She made the cut nine times and never finished worse than 11th the last eight years. Gumm was the runner-up four times and finished third once and fourth once during that span.
Gumm also gained national attention as a sophomore when she fired a bogey-free 9-under 61 to win the Kentucky Invitational Tournament by seven strokes. She was featured in Sports Illustrated’s “Faces in the Crowd”. Gumm had a 61 her junior year to win the KIT for the sixth consecutive year at Lakewood Country Club.
“All the relationships I’ve made with the players, coaches and parents is what I’ll remember,” Gumm said. “The memories of playing with players like Katie Fraley my third-grade year stands out. I was so nervous. Playing with Karisa (Akin) and Morgan (Cross) and all the great players has made me better. It’s been a blessing for me the competition we have in this area and it’s made me a better golfer.”
SOPHOMORE OF THE YEAR. Central Hardin’s Erin Perkins had to assume a bigger role than she expected this season. With the loss of two seniors and two other players who didn’t return, Perkins was thrust into playing as the No. 2.
“She really had to step up,” Central Hardin coach Chris Adams said. “We threw her into the No. 2 spot and she had to carry a lot bigger role for us. She showed a great deal of improvement and she handled it really well. She works probably as hard as anyone we have. It’s good to see that work pay off.”
Perkins was a unanimous selection for Area Sophomore of the Year, receiving all four possible first-place votes. She’s the second straight Lady Bruin to win the award. Mercedes Crowe won it last year.
“It makes me feel good,” Perkins said. “There’s a lot of good sophomores that are just as good as me, so for me to win, I feel honored.”
Perkins helped the Lady Bruins qualify for the state tournament. It was her fourth trip to State. It was a perfect way for Perkins to finish off her season.
“It had some ups and downs,” Perkins said. “I had some tournaments where I played well and some that didn’t go so well. I’d say it was a good season. I love going to State. It’s fun being with your team. I’m excited about next year and hopefully I can go again.”
COACH OF THE YEAR. Adams is no stranger to postseason awards. He was named the Area Coach of the Year for the fourth straight season and the ninth time in the last 10 years. This might have been the most special.
“That one shocks me. It really shocks me,” Adams said. “I want to say thank you to the other coaches. I think I told you at region my best years coaching were the years we didn’t win region. The girls worked extremely hard and I owe it all to them.”
The Lady Bruins came up short in their quest for a fourth consecutive region crown, but they finished second, qualifying for the state tournament for the 10th straight year.
“This is great group of girls,” Adams said. “This is the closest knit girls’ team I’ve ever had. We took an overnight trip to a tournament at Mason County early in the year and it really helped us. The girls bonded. They pulled together and played together. They played for each other. I’m proud of how they came together.”
Adams garnered three first-place votes and tallied 16 points. Elizabethtown’s Kim Hartlage, who received the other two first-place votes, was second with 14 points followed by Fort Knox’s Kip Rambo with eight points.
ALL-AREA TEAM. Gumm, Hartlage and Smith were joined on the first team by Elizabethtown freshman Rebecca Black and North Hardin senior Sara Crutcher. Elizabethtown senior Ashley Hartlage, Perkins, Central Hardin sophomore Madalaine Benedetti, Fort Knox eighth-grader Shannon Brown and Meade County senior Rachel Harreld all made the second team.
Chuck Jones can be reached at (270) 505-1759 or email@example.com.
GIRLS’ 2012 ALL-AREA GOLF TEAM
Player of the Year
Lydia Gumm, North Hardin
Sophomore of the Year
Erin Perkins, Central Hardin
Coach of the Year
Chris Adams, Central Hardin
First Team All-Area
Lydia Gumm, North Hardin
Lauren Hartlage, Elizabethtown
Rebecca Black, Elizabethtown
Sara Crutcher, North Hardin
Amanda Smith, Central Hardin
Second Team All-Area
Ashley Hartlage, Elizabethtown
Erin Perkins, Central Hardin
Shannon Brown, Fort Knox
Madalaine Benedetti, Central Hardin
Rachel Harreld, Meade County
Honorable Mention All-Area
Elizabethtown: Sarah Hinton and Mary-Chapin Snow.
Fort Knox: Ashlyn Koonce.
Meade County: Chelsea Lancaster.
The five area head coaches were asked to nominate athletes for the individual awards and the All-Area Team. After all nominations were received, a ballot was emailed out to every coach. Voting was done on a 5-3-1 points scale for the three individual awards (Player of the Year, Sophomore of the Year and Coach of the Year), with five being a first-place vote, three being a second and one being a third. Voting was done on a 10-9-8-etc. scale for the All-Area Team. Players had to be nominated by their coach AND receive at least one vote from an opposing coach to earn honorable mention. Coaches were forbidden from voting for themselves or their athletes.