Girls golf: Scouting Lake County

  • Stevenson golfer Kelly Dong hits up onto the green on the 7th hole during the North Suburban Conference tournament last fall at the Bonnie Brook Golf Course in Waukegan.

    Stevenson golfer Kelly Dong hits up onto the green on the 7th hole during the North Suburban Conference tournament last fall at the Bonnie Brook Golf Course in Waukegan. Daily Herald photo

  • Vernon Hills' Grace Im watches the flight of her ball as she tees off on hole one of sectional play at Makray Memorial Golf course in Barrington.

    Vernon Hills' Grace Im watches the flight of her ball as she tees off on hole one of sectional play at Makray Memorial Golf course in Barrington. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

Updated 8/16/2018 10:06 PM


Coach: Bill Hamill (fourth season)


Last season: seventh in Class AA Warren regional

Returning golfers: Samantha Brown (Sr.), Karley Rogalski (Sr.), Emily Pedersen (Jr.), Madi Maish (So.), Ally Olsen (So.), Kaleigh Ulm (So.)

Newcomers: Emily Roberts (Fr.), Ashley Lubkeman (Fr.)

Season outlook: The Sequoits return two-time sectional qualifier Samantha Brown, and coach Bill Hamill says the program is "moving in the right direction." Unfortunately for the Sequoits, junior Emily Pedersen tore her ACL in summer basketball and will miss the golf season. She played varsity golf as a freshman and sophomore. While Pedersen can't play, she will serve as team manager. "I call her my assistant coach," Hamill said. Brown and Karley Rogalski are the Sequoits' only seniors. Hamill is encouraged by what he's seen of freshman Emily Roberts, who shot a 105 at Metamora Fields in a tournament this week. "That's a tough course," Hamill said. "There's fescue grass everywhere." Brown, who's dealing with a deep thigh bruise and strained meniscus from basketball, shot a 41 on Wednesday, as Antioch (185) beat Grant at former Antioch Golf Club, which is now called Valley Ridge. "I can tell it's taken a little bit of distance from her because she's not following through her ball like she used to," Hamill said. "But her scores are still there."


Coach: Kim Fisher (first season)

Last season: third in East Suburban Catholic Conference, first in Class AA Warren regional, 11th in Barrington sectional

Returning golfers: Maria Stephens (So.), Sydney Faerber (Jr.), Julia Zimmer (Sr.), Becca Curley (Jr.), Caitlyn Lenihan (Jr.)

Newcomers: Grace Cappelle (Jr.), Maddie Kosobucki (Jr.)

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Season outlook: Kim Fisher is the Corsairs' third head coach in three years. A former high school golfer in South Bend, Ind. and Evans Scholar at Purdue University, she roomed with former Carmel coach Tara Gille in college. Fisher, an interior designer by day, inherits a group that includes sophomore Maria Stephens, who was the medalist in the Warren regional at Bittersweet last year. Stephens shot an 83 on Thursday in the Libertyville invite at Pine Meadow. "Maria has a great swing and is a great player," Fisher said. Stephens, Sydney Faerber, Julia Zimmer, Becca Curley and Caitlyn Lenihan were all members of last year's sectional-qualifying squad. Faerber and Zimmer also helped the Corsairs advance to the sectional two years ago. "I'm just getting to know them," Fisher, who was named Gille's replacement in June, said of her golfers. "Maria plays a lot during the summer, but a lot of these girls are just getting back into the swing of it. They all can be strong players, but you don't know which golfer is going to show up. That's with anybody."


Coach: A.J. Havenga (eighth season)

Last season: eighth in Class AA Freeport regional

Returning golfers: Jordin Stribling (Jr.), Mia McDermed (Jr.), Hannah Newport (So.)

Newcomers: Margaret Teyema (Sr.), Anna Maldonado (Sr.), Beya Flores (Fr.), Audrey Mazur (Fr.), Holly Kelley (Fr.)

Season outlook: Coach A.J. Havenga says his team is looking to gain lots of good experience on the course this year with a youthful group. Jordin Stribling, Mia McDermed and Hannah Newport will all get a taste of varsity golf this year and will be counted on to lead the way. The Bulldogs graduated two-time sectional qualifier and four-year varsity golfer Kylie Diana.


Coach: Scott Ewen (fifth season)

Last season: eighth in Class AA Warren regional

Returning golfers: Morgan Atwell (Jr.), Ella Jensen (So.), Cara DeLacluyse (Jr.), Bethany Cardenas (Sr.), Savannah Guenther (Sr.), Janie Schulz (Jr.)


Newcomers: Megan Eppel (Jr.), Maggie Rutkowski (So.), Mackenna Lavin (Jr.), Audrey Heth (Sr.), Claire Dobovsky (Sr.)

Season outlook: Coach Scott Ewen returns several girls with varsity experience and says the team's newcomers got plenty of JV experience last year. "We hope to be very competitive in our conference as a team, and individually Morgan (Atwell) and Ella (Jensen) -- if she can return from her knee injury -- both have a solid shot of advancing to sectionals."


Coach: Nick Aguina (second season)

Last season: sixth in Class AA Warren regional

Returning golfers: Camryn Jones (Sr.), Megan Klein (Sr.), Tessa Pooley (Sr.), Emily Christensen (Sr.), Maya Chavez (So.), Allison Kennedy (So.)

Newcomers: Dakota Yates (So.), Jaclyn Koruna (So.), Elizabeth Brayman (Jr.), Olivia Langille (Fr.), Kailey Gara (Fr.), Madison Kobeski (Fr.)

Season outlook: Senior Camryn Jones has qualified for the sectional each of the last two years and leads an Eagles team that looks to build on last season's success (9-2 in dual matches, 5-1 in NLCC). "A majority of the girls worked on improving their golf game this summer to prepare themselves for the upcoming golf season," coach Nick Aguina said. "With all their hard work and dedication we are looking to make a strong showing at regionals and sectionals."


Coach: Mel Fox (17th season)

Last season: fourth in North Suburban Conference tournament, seventh in Class AA Palatine regional

Returning golfers: Bryana Hogan (So.), Grace Loverde (Sr.), Taylor Schwab (Sr.), Alyson Kee (Jr.), Debby Chung (Jr.), Haley Czabaj (Jr.), Sophia Szady (Sr.), Haley Cranstoun (Jr.), Grace Lambertsen (Jr.)

Newcomers: Kiana Pouyat (Fr.), Abby Watt (Fr.), Sarah Froesch (Fr.), Emily Kaminsky (Fr.), Amanda Klunder (Fr.), Emma Wilkerson (Fr.), Cassidy Kalmaras (Fr.)

Season outlook: The Bears made a commitment to the game over the summer. "This is the first year where all of the girls on the team took lessons and played over the summer," coach Mel Fox said. "Bryana Hogan, Grace Loverde, Kiana Pouyat and Abby Watt competed in tournaments all summer. They are ready to compete in our matches and tournaments this season."

Hogan (eighth) and Alyson Kee (20th) were both All-NSC last year. "One goal this season is to strive for personal best scores, improving in each match and tournament," Fox said. "We will spend a lot of time this season practicing our short game as well. The ultimate goal is to play well enough to advance out of regional and sectional and make it to state. We are looking forward to a winning season."


Coach: Greg Pedersen (ninth season)

Last season: second in North Suburban Conference tournament, fifth in Class AA Warren regional

Returning golfers: Grace Boileau (Sr.), Maggie Burnetti (Sr.), Emma Milowski (Sr.), Katie Zurek (Sr.)

Newcomers: Payton DeBruler (Jr.), Lexie Hill (Jr.), Alex Scrogham (Jr.), Ella Marsden (So.)

Season outlook: The Wildcats return a pair of sectional qualifiers in seniors Maggie Burnetti and Katie Zurek. Burnetti, Zurek and Payton DeBruler all earned medals in the NSC tournament last fall. "Maggie Burnetti has worked hard on her game and we're seeing successful results early on," coach Greg Pedersen said. "She shot an 81 at the Barrington invite last week and a 40 against Highland Park. I'm proud of the work she's put in on her game and she's primed for a great senior season." Pedersen adds that DeBruler has significantly improved over the last two years and has her average under 45. DeBruler's 86 led the way for Libertyville (364) in Thursday's invite at Pine Meadow. "Payton gets better and better," Pedersen said. "With a fall season of playing golf every day, we're excited to see how low her scores can go." The remaining senior trio of Grace Boileau, Emma Milowski and Zurek will get their chances to contribute right away. Boileau teed it up for the Wildcats when they qualified for the sectional two years ago. "Those three seniors are working to find consistency in their game from day to day," Pedersen said. "They each can have great rounds. Now we'd like to see that happen day in and day out. We're excited to give chances to Lexie Hill, Alex Scrogham and Ella Marsden. We hope they seize the opportunity and show us the work they put in over the summer. Ultimately, we'd like Maggie to qualify for sectionals and play her best round there. We're not talented enough to take on the best teams in the conference, but if we show consistent improvement, we hope to provide a strong challenge."


Coach: Tom Kuhn (first season)

Last season: 10th in Class AA Warren regional

Returning golfers: Ryan Wilson (Jr.), Alex Hevko (Jr.), Maddie Wade (So.), Olivia Szalinski (So.)

Newcomers: Kellie Shanahan (Fr.), Maddy Forster (Fr.), Natalie Altenhoff (Fr.), MacKenzie Begg (Fr.), Eva Tejada (Jr.)

Season outlook: Tom Kuhn takes over the program from longtime MHS teacher and coach Barb Hartwig and returns four golfers from last season. Four freshmen came out and all shot solid scores in tryouts, Kuhn said. "All the girls put a lot of time in during the summer and played several rounds," Kuhn added. "With double the number of golfers from a year ago, the team is hoping to improve in the conference standings and see some girls advance beyond the regionals." Freshman Kellie Shanahan has already been medalist twice in the first week of the season, opening with a 48 at Valley Ridge and following up with a 41 at Countryside. The Mustangs shot 194 in a victory over host Grant and had 202 in beating visiting Richmond-Burton.


Coach: Emma Degen (fourth season)

Last season: first in North Suburban Conference tournament, third in Class Palatine regional, third in Barrington sectional, 12th in state tournament

Returning golfers: Jr. Joyce Bai, So. Kelly Dong, So. Sophia Zhuang, Jr. Julia Yoo

Newcomers: Fr. Emily Duan, So. Faith Wang

Season outlook: Led by reigning NSC medalist Joyce Bai, who's been their No. 1 the last two seasons as a freshman and sophomore, the Patriots are loaded. Coach Emma Degen says her Patriots are hoping to pick up where they left off last season, when they put together an undefeated dual-meet season and made their first state appearance as a team since 2007. Kelly Dong, Sophia Zhuang and Julia Yoo also return from the state-qualifying team. "The girls are determined to get back to Decatur in October," Degen said. "We are fortunate to return four girls from the 2017 state team and are excited to add freshman Emily Duan and sophomore Faith Wang into the lineup. Each girl put in a lot of time in the offseason, playing in tournaments and working hard on the range." Their hard work has already paid off, as Stevenson shot a school-record 312 in the Prospect invite last Friday. "I'm excited to watch this young team work and accomplish their goals this season," Degen said


Coach: Stephen Downey (third season)

Last season: second in Class AA Warren regional, 10th in Barrington sectional

Returning golfers: Grace Im (Sr.), Maja Mirjanic (So.), Jacki Park (Sr.), Abby Finerty (Jr.)

Newcomers: Molly King (Jr., transfer from Lake Forest), Irene Im (Fr.)

Season outlook: The Cougars advanced to sectionals for only the second time in school history last year, and their top-three golfers return. "We should have another good season," coach Stephen Downey said. Senior Grace Im and sophomore Maja Mirjanic shot 87 and 91, respectively, in last years's regional. They averaged mid-80s for 18 holes and low-40s for nine. "Grace and Maja are definitely our top two golfers," Downey said. Senior Jacki Park gives the Cougars another veteran, and junior Molly King is a transfer from Lake Forest. "Jacki has a lot of potential to improve from last year and post some good scores," Downey said. "We are hoping Molly can be a key contributor this year. A couple team goals would be to improve upon our team score average from last year and advance to sectionals once again. We also have a number of new golfers on the team who can hopefully improve their games as the season goes along." Vernon Hills opened the season with a 184 in beating Fremd at Vernon Hills Golf Course, as Mirjanic was the medalist with a 37. Mirjanic (91), Im (95) and Park (97) led the Cougars (393) in Thursday's invite at Pine Meadow.


Coach: Leigh Ann Mondrawickas-Boncher (16th season)

Last season: third in North Suburban Conference tournament, fourth in Class AA Warren regional

Returning golfers: Danielle Guzman (Sr.), Amanda Mietus (Sr.), Chloe Morrissey (Jr.), Sydney Bornhorst (So.), Victoria Ortiz (Sr.), Diya Iyer (Jr.), Maddy Fezatte (So.), Megan Flesher (So.)

Newcomers: Erika Baker (Fr.), Mia Bornhorst (Fr.), Klyee Wiltse (Fr.)

Season outlook: After finishing fourth in their own regional last year, the Blue Devils look again like a legitimate candidate to qualify for the sectional. They're led by two-time sectional qualifiers Chloe Morrissey and Danielle Guzman. The duo should be complemented by Amanda Mietus and Sydney Bornhorst. "These players have invested a tremendous amount of time in the offseason to improve all aspects of the game," coach Leigh Ann Mondrawickas-Boncher said. "All four have the potential to be scoring leaders. This depth provides great strength to our varsity team. Furthermore, these players are driven to improve and excel in golf and support each other while doing so. Morrissey is emerging as our top scorer. While she was our top golfer last season, she posted noticeably improved scores during tryouts this year and shot 1-under par (35) in our first home match at Bittersweet. Through work in the off season, she has elevated her game to the next level." Freshman Erika Baker has impressed. "Erika has already made a significant impact at the varsity level with her skill and sportsmanship," Mondrawickas-Boncher said. "Freshman Mia Bornhorst also has the ability to compete with Victoria Ortiz and Diya Iyer for the sixth spot on varsity." Mondrawickas-Boncher adds her team has the potential to be one of the best in the program's history.

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