Woodridge girls golf team looking forward to successful season
PENINSULA — Last season, the Woodridge High School girls golf team compiled an overall record of 6-10. The team had a 6-8 mark in league play and finished in sixth place.
Head coach Bob Crane said this year’s squad “has a lot of inexperience, but a great amount of talent.”
“We have one senior and four juniors in the top six,” he said. “[We have] two veterans, but we have a lack of match experience due to five players graduating in June 2012.”
The only senior on Woodridge’s girls golf team this year is varsity letterman Jamie Vanaman.
“Jamie is a senior this year, and she is a model of confidence and enthusiasm,” Crane stated. “She played as a sophomore and earned ‘Most Improved.’ She was part of the inaugural girls team at Woodridge. She didn’t play last year, but she’s back on the team now.”
The team’s captains this season are Vanaman and junior Cameron Fishback.
“Cameron was second-team All-League in 2011 and is a great team leader,” Crane said. “She has worked really hard in the offseason with workouts and practice and tournament participation. She also played in the Hudson Invitational this past June.”
An underclassman who Crane said he thinks will stand out this year is sophomore Katie Kearns.
“She has exhibited athletic potential and is playing well,” he said. “She probably has the best short game on the team.”
Other key players mentioned by the coach are juniors Latrice Gooch, Kat Skaggs and Courtney Kearns. Crane said one major factor in the team’s improvement this season is the advancement shown by Gooch, Skaggs and the Kearns sisters.
“They were on junior varsity last year, and that was their first year of golf,” the coach said. “Only one of them [Gooch] had any scores in the 50s last year, but this year, they’re all shooting in the 50s, and Gooch is shooting in the high 40s. They’re only one-year golfers, so that’s not just experience; that’s also talent taking over.”
The team also features a pair of freshmen in Megan Hughes and Emily Vaughn.
“They first came out for the open practice and for my clinics, and there has been substantial improvement from the end of June to the beginning of August,” the coach said. “Just in that short period of time, they have really shown a grasp for what I’m teaching them. That’s really good.”
Woodridge’s season got under way Aug. 13 at the Greater Akron Girls Golf League’s opening tournament Aug. 13 at Firestone Public Golf Course.
“Our first league tri-match is [today], Aug. 16, against Firestone and St. Vincent-St. Mary [high schools] at Mud Run in Akron,” Crane said. “This team is eager to golf. They’re all ready to go.”
This is the third year for the Woodridge girls golf team. Crane has been the team’s only coach, and Carole Avella has been his assistant coach “since day one.”
According to Crane, the next two years will be important seasons for the program.
“With four juniors, this year will really be a springboard for their senior year,” he said. “I think next year is going to be an exciting year for them. They’re at the point where they’re still learning — because they’re new to the sport — but they’re so eager to play golf that I think they’re going to carry the team this year and next year.”
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