Drew McCullough grew up loving baseball and basketball, normal for a kid from Richland.
But by eighth grade, he took a serious liking to golf.
So did Emily Baumgart. The sophomore from DeSales made it to the state tournament as a middle schooler.
Both McCullough and Baumgart had great high school seasons this spring, and were named All-Area MVPs by the Tri-City Herald staff.
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McCullough was the Mid-Columbia Conference MVP while playing for the Richland Bombers.
“I obviously got off to a good start this season with some tournament wins,” he said. “I was a lot more consistent this year. I’m at the course every day. The course (Meadows Springs Country Club) is in my backyard. I play five to six times a week.”
But it wasn’t always like that.
“Growing up, I was a baseball-basketball kid,” he said. “I didn’t start golfing until sixth grade, and in eighth grade I got more serious about it.”
He found that playing on the Bombers’ second-place boys basketball team at state in March also helped him.
“At the beginning of the year, coming off of basketball, it made me relax more out on the course,” McCullough said. “I let the game come to me. I wasn’t trying to make things happen.”
He’s headed to the University of Wyoming this fall to play golf.
“My strength is driving the ball and my irons play,” he said. “But I definitely need to work on my putting.”
Baumgart walked away with the 1B/2B state title this spring. Now she wants more.
“I want to win two more state titles and keep on working hard,” she said.
A few weeks ago, Baumgart verbally commited to play golf for Washington State.
“I feel like I’m playing a lot smarter,” she said. “Mostly it’s course management. My strength is my putting and my short game is getting better. I had 29, then 30 putts both days at the state tournament.
“But I need to be more relaxed off the tee box.”
Hanford senior Eric Dahl, Liberty Christian senior Isaiah Ojeda, Richland senior Quinton Parnell and Bombers freshman Carl Underwood complete the first team for the boys.
Richland’s John Richardson is the boys coach.
Joining Baumgart on the first team is Pasco senior Neydeen Martinez and sophomore Jalayne Martinez, Hanford junior Lacy Skwarek, and Southridge senior Catherine Warner.
Southridge’s Spencer Reiboldt is the girls coach of the year.
Evan Hattori, soph, Richland
Garret Neswick, sr., Southridge
Austin Brown, jr., Southridge
Thomas Hannu, sr., Hanford
Bolton Dauenhauer, fr., Kamiakin
Alexa Clark, fr., Kamiakin
Tayler Hood, jr., Southridge
Jessica Huntsman, sr., Walla Walla
Mia Johnson, jr., Kamiakin
Allison Kadinger, sr., Kennewick