Young Springfield girls golf team looking to gain experience
SPRINGFIELD — According to Lori Henary, a major goal for this year’s Springfield High School girls golf team is simply to gain experience.
“Not only are we young, but we are also very inexperienced. With no seniors and only one junior (Deanna Cole), we spend a lot of time learning the basics,” she said. “We have five sophomores — Allie Rodenbucher, Sarah Treen, Laura Stubbs, Elena Nutter and Courtney Rodrigues — and two freshmen, Kathi Kline and Allison Danner. Our junior and two of our sophomores, Allie and Sarah, are the only girls with any experience.”
Last season, Springfield finished with an 11-5 overall record and a 10-4 mark in league play.
“We finished third in our league behind Southeast and [St. Vincent-St. Mary],” Henary said, “and had two girls qualify for districts, Cara Hathaway and Deanna Cole.”
However, the coach said, this year’s team is “experiencing a rebuilding period.”
“We lost two great seniors who are now playing in college (Cara Hathaway at Malone and Kristin Davis at Mount Vernon), and our success last year was a result of their great play,” she stated. “Deanna also played a large part in last year’s overall team accomplishments, but this year she is our only player with more than one year of playing experience. For these reasons, we have had to emphasize individual growth this year more than an overall team performance.”
Henary said she believes Cole will have plenty of success this season.
“We expect Deanna Cole to be a ‘first-teamer’ this year. She made second team last year and also qualified for districts,” the coach stated. “As for the rest of our team, they continue to improve everyday. Many of the girls are still learning the rules and etiquette of the game, but work hard and have already seen their scores dropping throughout the season. We need to work on our chipping around the green and putting. Our team struggles to be consistent in these two areas. Tee shots seem to be our strength. The girls are also very positive and supportive of each other and like spending time together off the course.”
One newcomer to the team who “has been a nice surprise” this season, Henary said, is freshman Kathi Kline.
“She has little playing experience, but has stepped into our 3/4 spot without intimidation,” the coach said. “She has high expectations for herself and works on her game outside of our practices. I feel she has great potential and is already an awesome teammate.”
Through Aug. 30, Springfield was 2-9, but three of those losses were by six strokes or fewer.
“Our expectations are to get better individually every match,” said Henary, who is in her second season as the girls golf coach. And while she doesn’t have any assistant coaches, Henary said a few people play key roles in helping the Springfield golf program.
“Cara Hathaway has come to practices and matches this summer to support the girls and provide some extra instruction. She is a great representative of Springfield High School, and the girls really look up to her. I am proud of her, her accomplishments and to say that she was a member of our golf team,” the coach said. “I would also like to thank Ron Tristano, PGA Pro at Edwin Shaw, and Rick Todd, manager at Chenoweth Golf Course. They are our practice facility and home course, respectively. Both are so flexible, understanding and supportive of our program. I am grateful for all they do.”
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