PLANT CITY — Durant High's Kerrie Reinhardt wasn't having the type of round she had hoped for in the district golf tournament Monday at Heritage Isles.
Reinhardt, Durant's No. 4, posted a 46 on the front nine and came to her coach, Dick Sheffield, for some solace.
"She said, 'I'm having troubles. I'm off,' " Sheffield said. "And I just told her to relax. We were two over (par) at the time and to just relax and play her game."
She did just that.
Reinhardt's back-nine 37, in conjunction with strong rounds from teammates Amy West, Madison Opfer and Erika Wardzinski, propelled the Cougars to a school-record team score of 302, earning Durant a district 2A-11 championship.
"I didn't have my best round, but everyone else really came together," West, a senior, said. "They were just amazing."
Durant's school-record score — 21 strokes better than second-place Wharton — booked a spot for the Cougars in Monday's regionals.
"The girls were lights out (at districts)," Sheffield said. "They were just on."
And no one was more on than Opfer, a freshman. She carded a 70 to pace the field and earn medalist honors.
"We had a good team last year," West said. "Then to add a freshman like Madison makes us that much better and confident."
In addition to Opfer's winning overall score, Wardzinski (73), West (76) and Reinhardt (83) rounded out the Cougars' lineup. For Opfer, Wardzinski and Reinhardt their scores were high school-career bests.
"In girl's golf, any score under 330 is good so to shoot 302 is just an unbelievable accomplishment," Sheffield said. "I mean, take at look at (2A-10 district winner) Plant's score. They shot a 350. That's how well the girls played."
Durant, which reached states in West's first two years at the school, didn't qualify last season. Much of that can be attributed to an injury Heather Wengyn suffered in a car accident.
"We lost a player who you could count on to shoot 75," Sheffield said. "The girl that had to replace her shot 115. That 40 strokes is pretty tough to make up for."
And Durant's 302 was far from an aberration. Last week the Cougars shot a school-best nine-hole 157 before setting the record at districts with a 156. On Monday, the Cougars also pulled off their school-record 18-hole team score despite wicked wind conditions.
"Honestly," West said. "It felt like a hurricane out there sometimes."
The win over second-place Wharton was made sweeter by the fact the Wildcats were the only team to beat Durant this year during the regular season. The Wildcats, however, also qualified for the regionals and will once again likely slug it out with Durant.
Sheffield said the key to Monday, where the top two team scores advance to the state tournament, will be the final two slots in his order.
"I am perfectly confident our numbers 1 to 3 will shoot below 80," Sheffield said.
That means it may once again hinge on the play of Reinhardt. Judging by her play Monday at districts, the Cougars could be booking their ticket to the state tournament at Ridgewood Lakes in Davenport.
"This team has a lot of confidence right now," West said. "If we keep playing the way we have, we're going to give other teams a run for their money."