By Bill Foley
FAIRFIELD — Thursday was the second “huge” day for the Montana Tech women’s golf team this week.
Two days after inking Butte High star Kodie Hoagland, Oredigger coach Sean Ryan hit the road to sign reigning Class B state champion Emma Woods of Fairfield to an NAIA National Letter of Intent.
“This is huge,” Ryan said of the Woods signing before driving back to the Mining City. “She’s a winner. She’s a state champion as a junior. She’s got so much game. It’s incredibly exciting. I can’t wait for her to bring her game to Butte.
“She’s going to be a real impact player for us.”
Woods did not just “win” the Class B State title this past May at EagleRock Golf Course in Billings. She blew away the field, coasting to the title by 10 strokes. That capped a season in which she win every tournament she played in as a junior.
Woods placed third at state as a freshman, and then her sophomore season was wiped out by the pandemic.
The daughter of Kyle and Cheryl Woods is a 4.0 student who plans to major in biology at Tech. She said she is happy to be joining an increasingly competitive team at Montana Tech. She said only two girls went out for her high school team in the spring
“I’m excited to be on a competitive team,” she said. “I’ve never had that before.”
Woods placed third at the Montana State Junior Championships to qualify for the Girls’ Junior America’s Cup tournament. She placed ninth at the Montana State Women’s Amateur.
The current Fairfield senior was recruited by multiple schools, including NCAA Division I and Division II programs, but she chose the Orediggers after a visit to Butte. She said it was her only recruiting trip.
“It has always been an option,” Woods said of signing with the Orediggers. “Then I decided to visit the campus and I really liked it. Sean was supper nice, and the girls on the team were really nice. I’m excited.”
A 1.1 handicap golfer, Woods will look to repeat as the State B champion May 17-18 at Fairmont Hot Springs. Ryan pointed out that she is also a standout in volleyball and basketball in Fairfield.
The coach said he was excited to add Woods to the program that this past season set the school record for the low round and tied the record for the low tournament score.
The additions of Hoagland and Woods, Ryan said, will only make the Oredigger program stronger.
“They play well and they play well in big tournaments,” Ryan said. “You’ve got to be excited for the future. This is a big day for us. We’re now recruiting champions and raising the bar.”