One Redhawk flies solo


Courtesy of @Redhawksgolf

Senior Mitchell Kalka advanced to the Region-II 5A tournament on Monday and Tuesday, representing Liberty as the only Redhawk competing. For Kalka, this marks the end to his time as a Redhawk.

Harley Classe, Sports Reporter

Falling short as a team in the District 9-5A tournament, one Redhawk, senior Mitchell Kalka, flew solo in the Region II-5A tournament Monday and Tuesday.

Kalka shot an 81 on Monday and a 78 on Tuesday for a final score of 159, securing him the 20th place in the region.

“I wanted to qualify for state,” Kalka said. “Although I fell short of this, I placed 2nd in the district and improved my score the second day of the tournament which placed me in the top 20 in the region out of 93 golfers, so I feel pretty good about my finish.”

Kalka spent his four years as a Redhawk playing for the top varsity golf team, and according to head coach Shannon Glidwell, he was a valuable asset to the team.

“Mitchell was an outstanding golfer for the Liberty Redhawks for all four years,” Glidwell said. “He was very coachable and always eager to learn new things.  He was able to play on the top team (top five players) in every District tournament of his HS career, which only a few players in the past were able to do.  This was a testimony to his work ethic and ability.”

Although Kalka was the only Redhawk to compete Monday and Tuesday, he was not the only Redhawk to attend the tournament.

“A few of the guys came out to watch Mitchell play at the Regional tournament, and as he was our lone representative the team was very supportive of him at the Regional tournament,” Glidwell said. “It’s very hard to play and advance at the Regional tournament when you play as a lone medalist, but the guys were able to give Mitchell as much support as they could.”

The next step for Kalka is playing at the collegiate level. While having to leave the team he has known for the last four years is challenging, Kalka is eager to see what the future holds.

“Ending my senior season feels bitter sweet, but I’m excited to play at the collegiate level at Midland College,” Kalka said. “I want to continue improving my golf game there over the next two years and then I hope to sign with a D1 program to finish off the last two years of my college career.”

However, he isn’t the only one who has high hopes for the future as Glidwell has even higher expectations.

“I hope he continues to improve at the collegiate level,” Glidwell said. “I think he has the quality to play at a very high level, but he will need to continue to refine his game and deal with the rigors of competition at a higher level.  When the stakes are raised at the collegiate level, along with the distractions of college, it becomes more difficult to keep one’s poise and confidence.  I hope he always focuses on maintaining his composure and poise as he begins to play collegiate golf.  We believe in him and are proud of all he has done for our program.”