Emily Leahey, Jenna Ross and Ann Dexter have been close friends for a long time. For the next two days, the Plainview senior trio hope the bond will transpire on the golf course, in hopes of winning a state championship.


Emily Leahey, Jenna Ross and Ann Dexter have been close friends for a long time. For the next two days, the Plainview senior trio hope the bond will transpire on the golf course, in hopes of winning a state championship.

They, along with fellow Lady Indians' Brittney Walker and Karin Cockran, will tee off in the Class 3A state tournament at 9 this morning at Cimarron Trails Golf Course in Perkins.

Taking the title would allow the Lady Indians to repeat as state champions after winning last year at Dornick Hills Country Club. It will also be meaningful for Leahey, Ross and Dexter, who are playing their final tournament together.

Leahey and Ross will be among the top contenders for the individual medalist title. Both finished atop the standings in the regional tournament last week at Lakeview Golf Club, with Leahey winning the championship in a playoff over Ross by one stroke.

That was hard for the pair. They and Dexter had been playing together since they were in elementary school.

"We've grown up with each other," Leahey said.

"We've always played golf together," Ross said.

"We have worked real well together," Dexter said.

Indeed they have. From Lakeview to Dornick Hills, to golf links across the state, and from junior events to high school varsity tournaments, they have played off a lot of tees, through lots of fairways, and towards many greens throughout the years. As coach Buddy Capps said last week before the regional, "You can tell they've been through the wars."

They haven't always gone the same school. Leahey attended and played at Ardmore as a freshman. But eventually, things changed.

"We've always been close until I came to Plainview my sophomore year, and that's when things really clicked with us," she said.

The bonds grew closer and the Lady Indians, along with standout Paige Martin, who won the individual title and graduated last year, were racking up success with low numbers and high finishes.

"And now here we are about to be graduating together," Ross said. "It is fun."

"They've been in the same 1-2-3 (spots) all year long," Capps said. "They've just been pretty steady. Ann is probably hitting the ball as well as she has ever hit it. Jenna's game continues to improve. Emily is probably our best all-around player. They're kind of like the triplets. They go together, and they're all valuable to our team. They provide leadership in helping the younger players."

Off the course, Leahey, Ross and Dexter will do things that teenage girls normally like to do, such as spending the night at each other's homes or going out shopping.

They even have their own set of nicknames. Leahey is known as "Red," for her red hair. Ross is called "Smiley," because of her bright smile. Dexter is known as "Sag," for reasons unknown.

On days of practice, they work together to make the other better.

"We support each other on the range," Dexter said. "We'll help each other in how to hit, and how to aim up."

"And we have fun, because we're all best friends," Leahey said. "We're just constantly having fun. There is no awkwardness at all."

Then there is the leadership role they provide for the younger teammates.

"Since we've been doing it for four years, we kind of know the feeling of how we feel before tournaments," Ross said. "So, we can help (Walker, Cockran and the rest of the team) calm down. We help them during practice with lining up and just little tips that we can give them anything to help."

"It's because we're more experienced, and they're new to this," Leahey said. "And they're going to have just as many memories as we're going to have. That's what's neat."

Leahey, Ross and Dexter also take turns making snacks before every event. Their favorite is peanut butter and banana sandwiches.

"It's the perfect snack for golfing," Ross said.

"And the bananas help," Leahey said. "Bananas have potassium and potassium helps muscle memory. So, when you swing, it keeps your muscles hydrated. The peanut butter keeps you going. It helps with energy."

Now with state lingering today and Thursday, they hope the energy, the bonds and their performance will be of aid as they go for a second straight championship.

"If we can all pull together and work hard, we'll be ready and we'll win," Dexter said.

Mike Moguin, 221-6522

mike.moguin@ardmoreite.com