By Nick Miller
When your sister is named the 2017-2018 Female Athlete of the Year at O’Fallon Township High School, has won six tournaments, finished fourth place at the IHSA State Tournament, and holds 11 scoring records at O’Fallon, its a big set of shoes to step into.
According to girls golf Coach Chris Eddy, Briana McMinn is doing just that, following behind her sister Alyssa who heads off to the University of Evansville.
Most recently Briana, a junior at OTHS, took home first place at the Bob Goalby/Jay Haas Invitational held at St. Clair Country Club on Thursday, August 16. She shot a 37 to earn the top spot at the tournament.
“Briana averaged 82 for us last year and was our number five last year. But since we graduated five of our top six, we were looking for her to lead the way this year,” Eddy said.
According to Eddy, Briana finished in the top ten in a number of events last year. She also first team all-conference, first-team area selection, voted on by all of the coaches.
She’s shown signs of playing very very well this year. While she still struggles a little bit, but I believe she’s going to be the leader of this group this year as we’re creating a whole new group,” Eddy said.
Eddy can’t say enough good things about Briana’s work ethic and believes a competitive nature with her sister may push her forward.
“Briana works extrmemely hard. She has the advantage of having a sister who was just voted Female Athlete of the Year due to her golf for last year, so the younger sister has a lot of interest and competitiveness to want to beat their older sister. I think that heavily influences her work ethic,” Eddy said.
“She knows she’s expected to lead this team and she’s working hard to lead it both by the actions of her golf game, as well as by trying to teach the other girls the way that we do it around here,” Eddy said.
Briana led the team at the Illinois Prep Tour Showcase on August 9 posting an 84. Then on the next day, she and her partner, Elizabeth Henken, scored a 71 in OTHS’s first place win at the MetroEast Scramble/Shamble.
Last weekend at the Belleville West Invitational, she would tie Henken for ninth overall with a score of 90.