Leavitt’s Ruby Haylock tees off during the Class B state golf championships Saturday, October 5, 2019, at Natanis Golf Club in Vassalboro. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal Buy this Photo

Leavitt’s Ruby Haylock backed up her freshman season with another dominate performance as a sophomore, which she concluded as the co-individual girls golf state championship, sharing the title with her teammate Morghan Dutil.

Haylock had a scoring average of 38.38 for nine holes and a 76.78 for 18 holes and went 11-0 in match play during regular season. And, for the second year in a row, she has been selected as the Sun Journal’s All-Region Golfer of the Year.

Leavitt’s Ruby Haylock tied for first in girls individual state golf championships in October at Natanis Golf Club in Vassalboro. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal Buy this Photo

Haylock’s goals this season were more team-oriented, with a particular focus on the teammates who were in their final years of competing at the high school level.

“This year was different because I knew my team a lot better than I did my freshman year,” Haylock said. “I felt really close to them this year. We had five seniors on the team — we really wanted to do well, because they are some of the people who started the team back up. We all had really high expectations for ourselves.”

The Leavitt golf team returned in 2018 after being dormant for several years. The five seniors are Eli Lind, Lucas Mortenson, Hayden Pelletier, Steven Parshall and Connor Wells.

The Hornets met their high expectations for 2019. Not only did Haylock go 11-0 on the regular season, but so did the team. The Hornets finished third in the Class B team championships with a team score of 362, led by Haylock’s 81, which was the tied for second among all Class B golfers.

The biggest step Haylock took during her sophomore season was in leadership and being a player-coach of sorts. It began before the high school season when she helped recruit her high school teammates to play in some junior events during the summer.

When her father Harry Haylock, who is Leavitt’s head coach couldn’t get to a practice on time, Ruby stepped up and coordinated the practices.

“In my position as a teacher (at Leavitt), there’s many afternoons that I have meetings, I have stuff going on that I can’t get the course at 2:30 (p.m.),” Harry said. “Just in an immediate conversation with her, ‘I can’t be there until 3:30,’ or, ‘I can’t be there until four o’clock, run the show.’ She knows what to do: The first 10 to 30 minutes we spend putting, chipping or some type of challenge drill, and eventually gets groups organized, sometimes based on skill, sometimes based on these two (players) haven’t played together, let’s have them get the opportunity to play together today.”

Harry Haylock said he was expecting a lot more leadership this season from his daughter this season.

At the individual state championships, Ruby had a chance to win the title outright but missed a 3-foot put on her 18th hole and she ended up in a tie with Duhtil, each shooting a 75.

More than months later, Ruby Haylock is glad she is a co-champion.

“I am really happy Morghan and I were able to win the individual title together and be co-champions,” she said. “I wouldn’t have wanted it to be anybody else because it’s my best friend, so it’s so much more special because I am extremely happy for her – I am extremely happy for myself as well.”

Leavitt’s Ruby Haylock putts during the Class B state golf championships in October at Natanis Golf Club in Vassalboro. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal Buy this Photo

Haylock has been climbing up the Maine junior ranks the past few summers, and it has carried over to the high school season. She’s leading the next young wave of girls junior golfers in the state now that the likes of Rachel Smith (Greely), Stephanie Rodrigue (Lewiston) and Jordan Laplume (Thornton Academy) have graduated and moved on to college golf.

“It feels really good, but there’s also a lot of pressure because I want to stay at the top and the only way to stay at the top is to work harder and harder, put more time into (golf), so I don’t drop down,” Haylock said.

As Leavitt’s No. 1 golfer, Haylock went up against opposing teams’ top players, who were usually boys, during regular season matches. While she might have surprised some of her foes during her freshman season, especially those who don’t play junior events, they were fairly familiar with the challenge she poses in 2019.

“It was a good mix of, ‘Oh yeah, she’s a girl, it’s Ruby, she’s very competitive, she can play. We got to bring our very best,’” Harry Haylock said. “Even with that, she was still undefeated, which was remarkable.”

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