When Jane Armington was looking to change schools before her freshman year of high school, she wanted to find a place that had coaches who could help her develop in golf and basketball.
That “place” was Wes-Del High School.
“I was thinking about transferring for like a long time,” Armington said. “I thought Wes-Del was just good for me… I like their new [head basketball] coach [Tod Windlan], and then obviously, [head golf coach] Nick [Rocco].”
In her freshman year with the Warriors girls’ golf team, she made headlines as she won the Middle-Eastern Conference (78), had the lowest nine-hole score in the county with a score of 33, and became the first Wes-Del golfer to win the Delaware County Tournament (76).
“It was really cool,” Armington said. “I really wanted to win and it just felt really good after.”
When Armington was young, her dad was the one who had an interest in the sport.
“My dad played for a long time,” she said. “He introduced me and my brother when we were really young.”
Soon after she started to take the game seriously, she knew that she was talented. When she arrived at Wes-Del, Rocco saw it as well.
“Once we had our first couple of practices, and our first match, I knew she could play,” he said. “I expected her to win the county [tournament] the day that we got there.”
However, when Armington has a bad day, it’s probably a round that average golfers are okay with. Her best nine-hole score this season has been a 33 and her worst is a 44, with her average being a 38.5 When it came to the MEC Tournament, Rocco knew that her ability to go low would be the difference.
“I thought if she played well, there wasn't anybody that could beat her,” he said. “...Her best is better than anybody else's around here.”
Armington has currently won two tournaments and has been named medalist of ten nine-hole matches. However, during this stretch, her winning spirit has only grown.
“This is just the beginning,” she said. “I still have three years left.”
One of her goals with high school golf is to advance and win the state finals. To advance, she believes that her consistency needs to carry throughout her time with Warriors. To help with that, she tries to play 18 holes every day.
To her, practice makes perfect.
“You have to keep practicing, so when you get up to actually hit [the ball], you can just feel confident,” she said.
Her success means more to the Warriors than some might think.
“I hope that Jane's performance this year kind of inspires other girls to come out and maybe give it a shot,” Rocco said. “It was the perfect storm because this year was looking kind of rough for us. Not every day this [talent] falls in your lap.”
The Warriors aren’t the only one hoping for a spark in future success. The athletic department is right there with them.
“We hope that Jane’s success will help grow interest in our Golf program,” Wes-Del athletic director Kye Denney said. “Coach Rocco does an outstanding job once the kids come out.”
Recently, the school decided to build a mini hole where the old football practice field once sat. It will have a little fairway with two bunkers and a green.
“Our Superintendent [Kyle Mealy] has been discussing the idea of creating a small course for a while,” Denney said. “With the completion of the Turf Football Field, we felt it would be a perfect time to execute his vision.”
With sectionals being held at Crestview Golf Course tomorrow morning, Jane will get her first chance to make a run at state. Other talented golfers in the field will include Delta’s senior Belle Brown and Yorktown’s senior Kayleigh Agulario.
Last season, the Eagles took the team event while Agugliaro won the individual portion. To Arminton’s advantage, she defeated the two to win the Delaware County Tournament.
“[Already facing them] gives me a lot of confidence,” she said. “I'm not really as scared as I was [the first time].”
Wes-Del will be paired with Blue River and Jay County. Armington will tee off at 9 a.m.