Caledonia Golfer Natalie Ferriell qualifies for states for the second year in a row, the only golfer to qualify in the last 2 years. She is a very humble player, and boasting is not her specialty. Although, she has a specialty for her drives off the tee and exceptional mental play. Natalie is a senior at Caledonia and has been on varsity for 3 years.
Natalie has been playing golf at Caledonia High School for all 4 years, and as a senior, she finished her season on a great note. She has been putting in work to her game for years now, and she comes from a family of golfers. Her brother Lucas, also playing golf at Caledonia High School, a gifted golfer as well. Natalie has had a decreasing season average for all 3 years playing on varsity, as well as improving from her freshman year greatly to senior year. Her senior year average is just over 40, 2nd best in Caledonia High School history for girls golf. Ferriell explains her time on varsity as a senior, “During my senior year I tried not to let the year of ‘last’ affect me and tried to play every round to the fullest.” Natalie was an essential part of the girl’s team and was able to secure a spot at the States finals on October 17th at Forest Akers East in Lansing. Despite the fact that Caledonia was forced to shut down for 2 weeks amidst the pandemic, as a result, the team missed multiple conference matches, although Natalie was still able to average the score needed to qualify. Throughout her whole career, Natalie was able to clutch her way through tough conditions, whether it be rain or snow, delays, and cancellations.
The match was at Forest Akers, the golf course that is home to Michigan State University, is 18 holes of water hazards, tall hills, long fairways, and much more that make it difficult for any seasoned golfer. On the day of states in Lansing, she says how the golf course is extremely challenging, and Natalie reflects on the course saying, “When at States this year I didn’t have the nerves like I did from year one, and I was able to enjoy the day and feel the support for my coaches and competition.” On the day of states, Natalie was accompanied by Coach Wagner, who can be seen in the image, as well as her dad. The support from her coaches and family were an essential part of Natalie’s golf game. After the gameplay was done, Natalie shot an 82 for 18 holes, an amazing score for such a challenging course. Natalie placed 21st at states, out of over a hundred golfers. She reflects on her day well done, “Before starting the season my goal was to be able to make it to States, and I’m finishing up my last regionals I couldn’t help but smile and be happy to finish up even if I didn’t qualify for state, when I found out I had qualified I felt accomplished.” Natalie’s humble demeanor can be seen, as she explains how she would have been happy to finish at regionals, even though she easily qualified for state finals. This was her second and final year playing at states as a soloist, however, played in states her sophomore year as well for the team qualifier.
Natalie explains how Mr.Wagner and the team have a tradition of going to Chick-Fil-a for an after-match celebration, “We got Chick Fil-a after the match, and it was definitely needed.” Natalie explains how the team often got Chick Fil-a after away matches, and how getting it after states was a perfect end to her high school career golfing. Although her high school career is over and done, she plans on playing golf in college. Her average is getting the attention of college coaches, Natalie explains, “I love playing golf and will be sad to not be a part of the Cal girls team anymore, and seeing my friends coaches at practice every day during the fall season. I will especially miss going to matches with two of my best friends Chelsea and Camy. But playing in college would be the next step for me and I’m excited to see where that brings me.” Through and through, Natalie Ferriell is one of the best golfers that Caledonia girls golf has ever had, and her final match at states will be remembered.