Local Girls Golf Capsules
Player to watch: Madeline Fleshman, Sr.
Outlook: The Slicers have a new coach in Libbie Gilliland (no relation to athletic director Ed Gilliland), who moves up after being an assistant for three years. And she’ll have a challenge on her hands after 80 percent of the starters graduated and Fleshman as the only experienced player. “I have a large number of new golfers, so this will be a building year for us,” Gilliland said. “I have seen great improvement in the short time I have worked with the girls and am expecting more throughout the season.”
Players to watch: Lia Thomas, So.; Emily Gushrowski, Sr.; Taylor Skibinski, Fr.
Outlook: Coach Drew White sounds more optimistic about this year’s squad following last year’s regional appearance, but it’s not just about the returners, led by Thomas. Then again, her improvement late in the year is a good start. “We’ll be riding her back,” White said. “She has a lot of drive.” It helps to have a talented freshman with a familiar name in Skibinski, the sister of former City boys standout Aaron, competing for the No. 2 with the experienced Gushrowski.
Players to watch: Gianna Tedesco, Sr.; Ann Peterson, Jr.
Outlook: There are lots of changes with the Blazers, starting at the top with Jordan Gallas stepping away from head coaching duties as a new dad. Marquette’s No. 1 golfers from last year, and state finals qualifier, Teresa Dorado, also didn’t come back as the Spanish exchange student returned to her home country. Tedesco will likely be the Blazers’ No. 1, while Peterson looks to continue her improvement over the last two years.
Players to watch: Beth Armstrong, Jr.; Zoie Martinez, So.; Jordan Winters, So.
Outlook: The Cougars also have a new coach in Bruce Watson, who has seven years of experience as a boys golf coach in Michigan. He’ll have the challenge of building the team after multiple-time state qualifier Kara Blair graduated. Armstrong, Martinez and Winters are returning starters on a small roster. “With only five players, I can concentrate on assisting each player in becoming the best golfers they can be,” Watson said. He added that all five golfers participate in other sports at New Prairie, so they are “well-rounded athletes.”
Players to watch: Chloe Ryan, Sr.; Katelyn Rudolph, Sr.
Outlook: Returning coach James Ridley said he’s very much “looking forward to the season” with five experienced golfers. Led by Rudolph and Ryan, who made great strides last season, the Satellites will have four seniors lead the way. Julie Myers and Morgan Hinz are the others, while junior Eve Masson completes SC’s most experienced girls golf squad ever.
Players to watch: Madi Conover, Jr.; Sami Vance, Jr.
Outlook: Third-year coach Mitch Semans is quite optimistic about this season, especially when he expects as many as five players out for the area’s smallest school when the Tigers only had two girls the last two years. Two of the newbies on the squad are Conover and Vance, who each have played other sports before trying golf.