Even though it may be the first time that a girl made an All-State team in a boys tournament it happened twice this week. Exactly who was the first girl to earn the recognition might come down to when the awards were handed out at the South Carolina boys High School Championships in Greenville and Charleston.
At Furman Lauren Stephenson, who will play at Clemson next year, earned All-State honors as a member of the Lexington High School boys team. Stephenson finished in a tie for fifth place.
She had won the girl’s AAAA championship last fall and with that came All-State honors as well. It was her second straight AAAA girls state title.
Annika Bovender of Academic Magnet in North Charleston, a future Furman golfer, also won her girl’s classification state title last year. She was the AA individual champion and an All-State player for her team.
This year she played on the boys squad at the state AA meet. She finished in a tie for sixth place individually earning her All-State honors in the AA classification.
Ironically because of the schedules each golfer played, neither Stephenson or Bovender figured at the top in the chase for the 2014 Beth Daniel Junior Player of the Year award given by the South Carolina Junior Golf Association.
This year so far Stephenson is ranked first and Bovender is third, however neither golfer will be in the running for this year’s award because as graduating seniors they will come out of the rankings when the new school year begins in September.
Jaelyn Tindal of Rock Hill won the Player of the Year Award at the end of the season long points race in 2014. The SCJGA Player of the Year award is weighted to include mostly South Carolina events. Players can also earn points for successfully competing in national events.
Stephenson has played almost exclusively a national schedule which has included many AJGA and other invitational events. She has been constantly ranked in the top 5, top 10 and top 15 in most individual polls.
Last year in addition to her high school championship she also won the AJGA Girls Championship, Wells Fargo Junior, WSCGA Junior, made the round of 32 at the US Women’s amateur and the round of 16 at the North and South in Pinehurst.
Bovender also won her high school state title and added a win at the Women’s Western Junior Championship and was medalist in two AJGA events and top-10 in two others. She has been ranked in the top-50 to top-100 in individual polls.
The search to see if any other players have accomplished what Stephenson and Bovender have done this year has many long time followers scratching their heads and searching through the record books.
Girls golf has only been a Championship sport of the South Carolina High School League since 2000. Classification play began two years later and only last year did Class AA start their own championship.
Many people involved in high school golf have recollections, but don’t have records to see if other girls have played on both girls and boys teams and made All-State.
If you have some information that may help us fill in the names of other high school girls who have accomplishments similar to Stephenson and Bovender we would like to hear from you.
Please send it to us at our email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Until proven otherwise we can say with some certainty that Lauren Stephenson is the first girl to make the boys AAAA All-State team and Annika Bovender is the first girl to make the boys AA All-State team.