Arabians aiming to defend county links title
August 17, 2012North Central Conference
By Travis Whitton
For The Herald Bulletin
ANDERSON, Ind. — Most of the girls golf coaches in the county have set goals to see their respective teams get better as the season goes on, but most of them circle a few dates on their calendars.
The Madison County Girls Golf Tournament is one such date.
Lapel and Pendleton Heights might be the favorites heading into this weekend’s tournament, but every coach wants to see their team put on a good showing.
Pendleton Heights coach Tom Harvey said that one of his goals is to defend the Arabians’ county golf title from last year. He will field 13 girls this year and eight of those are returners.
PH will be led by Abby Wright, Jordan Dean, Delaney Harvey, Audrey Dowden, Aubrey Curtis, Lauren King, Kaitlyn Dowden, and Emily Tilton, and Harvey has newcomers Peyton Spaugh, Ashley Parks, Connor McCoy, Jenoa Zay, and Megan Simmons to help build a traditionally strong girls golf squad.
Harvey said that his depth and middle school feeder program is what allows PHHS to continually have a strong girls golf team and always in the hunt for the county championship.
Lapel coach John Maryan wants to see his girls hard work pay off and for that to happen he will be relying on seniors Meg Fields and Madison Stis. He credits both of those players as the leaders of the team.
He will also need strong play from freshman Natalia Campbell, Autumn Hopper and newcomer Jensen Whitton in order to have success in the county tournament. The sister act of junior Kaitlin Dobbins and freshman Peighton Dobbins will be pushing for time on the varsity squad, which will only make Maryan’s girls better in the county tourney.
Anderson coach Bob Windlan said that four of his girls from last year’s team have moved to area schools, which he feels is a big detriment to his team this year. He said he would like to see his girls finish in the top-three in the county.
Windlan’s big gun comes in the form two-time individual county champion, and two-time state qualifier, Morgan Nadaline. The junior is an odds on favorite to take medallist honors again this year, and her coach feels like she is not only one of the best in the county but in the state, too.
Outside of Nadaline they only have one returner in Morgan Wiley. The Indians will also field three new and inexperienced golfers with Kylie Porter, Savannah Woods and Ashley Knight as they prep for the county tournament.
Elwood’s Kyle Hobbs also has some growing pains with inexperienced golfers, but he does return sophomore Nicole Jones this season. His newcomers are Shelby Reese, Elli Ferguson, Jordyn Wright, Zoie Hancock, and Libby Ashbaugh.
Hobbs’s squad may not compete for the county championship, but he looks for improvement as the season moves along and hopes to be competitive by sectional tourney time.
Alexandria’s coach Mark Long doesn’t necessarily mention the county championship as one of his goals, but he does have five returners: Makenzie Johns, Sidney Bassett and Erica Phelps leading the way along with Valarie Skaggs and Emma Schueler, who Long would like to see be leaders this season.
The Tigers have six freshmen that Long expects to push his returning players for playing time. Dana Hartwell, Sydney Carey, Liberty Kyle, Maggie Phelps, Josie Garrett, and Emily Young will all have a chance to compete and make a name for themselves in county.
Madison-Grant’s Mike Small has already won the Grant Four tournament in Grant County and would like nothing more than to see his Chelsea Rahrar-led team do well in the Madison County tournament.
Small also returns Devina Davis, Bree Lewis, Erin Gibson, and Ali Small, which might make the Argylls a darkhorse in this year’s county tourney. He feels like the fact that they already have several tournaments under their belt this season will only help his girls heading into the Madison County golf tourney.
Joe Rench’s Daleville Broncos would like to see his team finish in the top-two spots in conference, and that might just happen with seven returning players. He has Paige Mullins, Betsy Weston, Allison Harris, Courtney Brosher, Kylie Powell, Sara Yoder and Autumn Stevens all coming back this season.
Rench also has newcomers Hannah Nunley, Haley Sutton and Allie Wallace joining the team. He said along with a top-two finish in conference he wants to see improvement in individual and team scores throughout the season.
Shenandoah coach Stephanie Campbell said that their No. 1 player is actually a move-in from Kansas. Senior Briana Moore is expected to lead her team throughout the season along with being a mentor for the younger golfers on the team.
Campbell’s returning player are sophomore Katie Cash with several youthful players following Moore and Cash. Campbell has her sites on the sectional tournament where she is hoping her team’s hard work pays off.