Girls golf: Smith, Barrington eager to stay successful
Caroline Smith made a big splash on the girls golf scene last year.
And making it even more impressive was the fact that it was her first year.
The Barrington freshman not only won the Mid-Suburban League championship but also registered the team's best score (74) in the Class AA state finals in Decatur.
That helped the Fillies earn their highest finish in school history as they were second (612) to Wheaton Warrenville South (605) at the Hickory Point Golf Club.
So what can we expect from the seasoned sophomore and the Fillies this spring?
"Over the past spring and summer, I feel as if my golf game has matured greatly," Smith said. "And I am extremely excited to see what the team and I can accomplish this upcoming season."
And Smith is all about 'team.'
"The hardest thing about playing on varsity last year as a freshman was saying goodbye to all the seniors," she said. "By the end of last season, we were all family and that was extremely hard to let go. We will all miss Allie (Quinn), Shivani (Majmudar), Reena (Sulkar) and Akshara (Ramakrishnan). The most fun thing about high school golf last year was meeting new people and seeing old faces. I'm grateful to have the opportunity to meet new people from all different schools who I otherwise would not have met."
One day she hopes to be meeting new people on the collegiate level.
"Division I golf is definitely a goal of mine,' she said. "I want to have a career in golf so playing in college would definitely help me achieve that. Whether it's being a college coach or a teacher professional, I want to give back to the game of golf and everything it has done for me."
Smith's passion for the sport and her team hardly goes unnoticed by her Hall of Fame coach, Jodi Schoeck.
"There is so much more to Caroline than just golf,' Schoeck said. "The first thing that comes to mind about Caroline is that she truly has a passion for golf and for life. She has so many golfing friends who she competes hard against but is also good friends with them. With Caroline, each tournament ends with a group hug and time sitting with her friends, talking, laughing and usually singing."
And her game is always in tune.
"Watching her play on the golf course is something to behold," Schoeck said. "She is mature beyond her years on the course. She makes good decisions and trusts her game."
Smith has been in the game for a long time.
"I've had a club in my hands my entire life," she said. "My father and brother are both avid golfers. I picked up a club rather quickly."
Her favorite club is the putter.
"Putting is the part of my game I rely on the most," said Smith, who is in her fifth year playing in tournaments.
"My favorite part about playing golf is that it motivates me to be the best golfer and person I can be. Golf teaches traits such as etiquette and respect, and I appreciate the lessons the game of golf has taught me."
She has been taught a lot by Schoeck.
"Playing for coach Jodi is truly amazing," Smith said. "I couldn't ask for a more supportive coach. Her kindness toward the team and everyone she meets is truly inspiring."
Just like Smith is an inspiring figure for her teammates.
"Caroline welcomes new players with open arms and a big smile," Schoeck said. "She loves the game of golf and has made a huge commitment to work on her game the past few years. The experiences she has had in all these events across the country have forged in her a fire to compete, have fun and be the best person she can be."
After one of the most productive seasons Schoeck has seen from a freshman in her 31 seasons, the veteran coach can't wait to see the next three seasons.
"Caroline has shown us so much in the past year," the coach said. "The exciting part is that the best is yet to come for her and for the Fillies team."