Youthful Hoban girls golf team improving with experience
AKRON — First-year Archbishop Hoban High School girls golf head coach Natalie Brasiel said her team has received a big boost this season from its freshman class, led by Morgan Stubbendieck, Jenna Richter, Natalie Stanziano and Kameron Simmons.
“If you could have the three musketeers plus one, that’s basically what they are,” the coach said. “They are all hard workers, but lack the needed experience that comes with playing more golf and summer tournaments. For most of them, this is only their first or second year playing golf, but they have been improving since the season began. They have been my top four golfers this year. In fact, two of the girls — Morgan Stubbendieck and Jenna Richter — made second team in our league as freshmen, so I think that’s pretty good.”
Two returning players for the team this season are senior Alex Diestel and junior Stephanie Collins.
“They are upperclassmen, so they are being looked to for leadership and experience,” Brasiel stated.
Diestel is the team’s captain this year.
“Alex is always positive and she is basically our cheerleader on the team. She kind of just gets the girls going,” the coach said. “She’s also an organizer, and she’s always pumping the girls up and getting them to do their best. She’s my only left-handed player and she’s mentally tough.”
Brasiel said Collins is showing improvement in her game.
“Stephanie is working hard. She’s been doing extra practices — stuff like that,” she said. “She’s having a little trouble putting at the moment, but she’s working just as hard as anyone else.”
Also playing a key role on the squad, Brasiel said, is freshman Samantha Franklin.
“She is new to golf and has been improving weekly,” the coach said. “We’ve had some illness on our team, so she’s filled in for us as the sixth man. Her nerves have gotten rattled in tournaments at times, but I’ve seen improvement from her.”
Last year, Hoban finished 10-3 and won the league championship, but the team lost four key seniors to graduation following the season.
“We are very, very young this year,” stated Brasiel, who is assisted by Marianne Mitchenn. “My top four players are all freshman, and that puts us at a huge disadvantage, but this has been a building year for us, and we have been gaining experience and confidence.”
The coach said she has seen improvement from her golfers as the year has progressed.
“When the season began, I would say our lowest round was 52, and since then I’ve had players shoot in the mid-40s,” she said. “Morgan Stubbendieck shot in the 40s and so did Jenna Richter. We’ve definitely had improvement, but there’s always room for more improvement. We just had our league tournament, and we didn’t fare as well as we would have liked. I think the weather had something to do with it, but we ended up in sixth.”
Through Sept. 21, the team’s overall record was 5-9.
“I think we’re progressing very well, but the offseason is going to be key for these girls,” Brasiel said. “They definitely need to improve in the offseason in order to play well the rest of the year. Offseason play and summer golf are just so important. We are looking to build from this season. Watch out for Hoban next year.”
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