Janesville Parker’s Sophia Dooman hits the ball up onto the green of the fifth hole during a WIAA Division 1 girls golf regional tournament at Riverside Golf Course on Sept. 26.

Gazette staff

If there was an award for most improved girls golfer in the state of Wisconsin, Janesville Parker’s Sophia Dooman would have been in the running this fall.

After narrowly missing out on qualifying for the WIAA state tournament in 2016, the Vikings junior took her training to a different level during the offseason.

The hard work paid off for Dooman, who qualified individually for the Division 1 state tournament, which took place last week at University Ridge. And the accolades continue this week for Dooman, who has been named first-team all-Big Eight Conference.

“The incredible part is how much she’s improved since last year,” Parker coach Mary Ross said. “All of her finishes were in the top 10 this year, except one when she shot 77 and was 11th at the Edgewood Invite.”

Middleton senior Payton Hodson was the Big Eight’s player of the year.

Dooman had a standout senior year to earn her first-team spot. She shot rounds of 89 and 85 at the par-72 University Ridge to finish 32nd out of 78 golfers in the D1 field.

Earlier in the year, she tied the Parker girls program record by shooting a round of 76.

“I think state was a really great experience. It’s hard to go as an individual without your team,” Ross said. “But she came back and improved by 10 spots in the overall placement on the second day, and that shows her tenacity.

“Setting the (program) record is a goal she’ll set for herself next year. She always sets high goals. She’s driven like that.”

Janesville Craig freshman Kallie Lux and Parker junior Ashlyn Burdick earned second-team all-conference honors. Craig sophomore Sara Nerad and Parker senior Lauren Reid were honorable mentions.

All-Big Eight Conference girls golf


Payton Hodson, sr., Middleton; Lauren Shorter, sr., Verona; Courtney Shorter, sr., Verona; Katherine Meier, so., Middleton; Sophia Dooman, jr., Janesville Parker


Grace Peterson, sr., Middleton; Chloe Day, sr., Beloit Memorial; Lillian Knetter, jr., Madison West; Kallie Lux, fr., Janesville Craig; Ashlyn Burdick, jr., Janesville Parker


Lizzie Sage, jr., Beloit Memorial; Sara Nerad, so., Janesville Craig; Lauren Reid, sr., Janesville Parker; Brianna Johnson, sr., Madison Memorial; Ashley Fleming, so., Madison West; Allison Richards, sr., Middleton; Morgan Jambard, jr., Sun Prairie; Caitlyn Ott, so., Verona.

Player of the year—Payton Hodson, Middleton

Coach of the year—Jon Rebholz, Verona