With a very young and inexperienced squad this season and without senior leadership, the Geneseo girls’ golf team and coaches have hopes to build for the future.
“Hopefully, as the season progresses, we see improvements and, if we can do that, it will be a goal accomplished,” said assistant coach Bob VanKerrebroeck.
“We have everyone back from last year with five new freshmen, but no seniors,” said head coach Julie Frels. “Things could be going a little better because we only have the No. 1 and 2 golfers figured out and spots three to six are up for grabs.”
Both coaches said they are happy with the numbers because the number of girls going out for golf has started to pick up, which looks good for the future.
“We just need to ease along and keep the girls interested,” said VanKerrebroeck. “They are all good kids and very coachable.”
This year’s team includes two juniors who will be looked at to take on that leadership role in Audrey Anderson and Ashley Farrell.
“Ashley and Audrey both have the personality to be leaders and they know they need to be assuming that role,” said Frels.
Returning for their second year of golf for the Lady Leafs are: Abby Frank, Bailey Ries, Carley Rusk, Emily VandeWiele and Abby Wilebski.
“We really want to see improvement from the sophomores,” said Frels. “They have been helping the freshmen because they were there last year. The five sophomores are being leaders for the five freshmen.”
The freshmen joining the Lady Leafs this season are: Monica Lieving, Taylor McKean, Corey?Panicucci, Sierra Sommer and Emma Vandemore.
“Our goal is for the freshmen to get good fundamentals and develop an interest for the game so they all come back,” said Frels. “We want to get them encouraged.”
The biggest goal for the girls’ golf squad this year is just to continue to improve.
“As a coach, you have to be realistic and if our record is .500 that would be good,” said VanKerrebroeck. “We are not as strong as last year and will see those peaks and valleys.”
“We don’t have an Allison Farrell this year and that dominant scorer,” said Frels. “We are going to have to rely on a couple of sophomores to step up.”
Both coaches said it is hard to pick out what might be some strengths of this year’s team, but they believe the No. 1 and 2 golfers are bright spots in the line up.
The biggest challenge the Lady Leafs will have to overcome is their lack of experience.
“Golf like any sport, you need to put the time in, and I am not sure many did that,” said VanKerrebroeck. “You have to prep. Golf is a tough game and you are going to have your up days and be down others.”
Page 2 of 2 - Last season, Allison Farrell placed 24th at the state finals with a 168 and advanced out of the sectional meet with a 79, just three strokes behind the first-place medalist. The team finished fourth at sectionals. The Lady Leafs as a team captured third at regionals to advance, while Allison?Farrell won the regional.
The Lady Leafs open the 2012 season this weekend at the Rock?Falls Invite at noon Aug. 18.
“We just want them to be competitive and do the best they can,” said Frels. “It is going to be tough playing 18 holes right off the bat, since very few have walked or even played 18 holes.”