Southridge's girls think they have what it takes to win another state berth
There's one sure thing, and one things that's anybody's guess heading into the 2008 Metro League girls golf season.
The sure thing is that Jesuit returns as the 2008 favorite after winning league and finishing second at state a year ago. The Crusaders bring back four of the five players who competed at state last year, led by Metro co-medalist Maddie Jarrett.
'Jesuit is going to be tough as always,' Aloha coach Randy Renfro said. 'I don't think there's anyone out there who can touch them.'
'You have to give it to Jesuit,' Southridge coach Pat Buckhalter said. 'They have outpaced everyone every year. We are all chasing.'
'Jesuit will probably chalk up their 108th girls golf Metro League title,' Westview coach Tim Purvis said with a hint of sarcasm. 'Southridge could challenge Jesuit. Jane So is just an unbelievable player.'
As Purvis said, Southridge and So - who shared medalist honors with Jarrett last year - appear to have the inside track at the league's second team berth to state, though Westview may have a say in that race as well.
'Southridge returns a lot of talent from a team that qualified for state last year and I look for them to contend,' said Sunset coach Brent Buell. 'Their golfers are very dedicated and compete very well every week.'
Following are previews of the varsity girls golf teams at the six Metro League high schools.
ALOHA - It's all about learning, growing and having fun for the Aloha girls team this year.
The 2008 Warriors open the season with just four players on the varsity roster, but nonetheless, coach Randy Renfro sees good things ahead.
'We'll learn a lot and have some fun this year,' Renfro said. 'We won't tear up the league but they're having fun and they're learning a lot.'
Sophomore Lilette Lacaden, now in her second varsity season, is the team's top player and has already shown a lot of growth since 2007.
'She spent a lot of time in the offseason taking lessons and doing what she needs to do to get better,' Renfro said.
The rest of the lineup will include junior Krista Fleming, junior Sarah Bain and junior Ashley Tripp. Fleming, a left-hander, is a solid ball-striker and putter who shows a lot of promise, Renfro said, while Bain brings a lot of enthusiasm and athleticism to her first year of competitive golf. Tripp, another first-year player, has been working very hard on her game, Renfro said, and promises to improve a great deal during the season.
BEAVERTON - There are questions aplenty for the Beaverton girls as they open the 2008 Metro League golf season, but the Beavers believe that, before year's end, they may just come up with some good answers.
The 2008 Beavers are led by senior Kassidy Banks, the team's top returner from a year ago, and junior Megan Holland, another varsity returner, and those two will team with senior Kelsey McFarlane to provide the backbone of the team.
'They've got experience, they come from good golf backgrounds and they've put in a lot of time,' said first-year Beaverton coach Carl Sargent, who replaced Dave Richardson this season. 'I think we'll be competitive with the rest of the league.'
Sophomore Kendall Crowley will also see a lot of
varsity time this year, while five other players - freshmen Maddie Harbolt and Taylor Gambie, juniors Maddy Lambie and Erica Biederbeck and junior Dominique Kraushaar - will fight it out for the fifth varsity spot.
'We're young, but we've improved a lot already,' Sargent said. 'The girls are all nice and they're working hard.'
BEAVERTON - The table is set, and set up very nicely indeed, for the Jesuit girls golf team in 2008.
The Crusaders return four of the five players that helped them finish second at state in 2007 and appear ready to win the Metro title yet again.
I think we'll do 'pretty well. We have three veteran seniors who are focused and ready to compete,' said Jesuit coach Katy Williams, whose team was second only to St. Mary's at state last year. But 'we have a young team as well … (so) we will have sophomores and freshmen who will see varsity action.'
Foremost among those 'three veteran seniors' is Maddy Jarrett, who shared Metro League medalist honors with Southridge's Jane So last year and finished 18th at state, and senior teammates Ceci Estraviz (19th at state) and Julie Schroeder (26th at state).
But 'the whole team is improving. There is a good chance we can make it to state as a team,' Williams said.
Also due for varsity team this year are sophomore Lauren Menashe (54th at state in '07), sophomore Ali Nichols and freshmen Paige Nibley and Casey Briggs.
'All of the players have solid games tee to green,' Williams added. 'They are working to improve their skills with their scoring clubs.'
BEAVERTON - If everyone is indeed chasing Jesuit again this season, then Southridge is the team closest on the Crusaders' heels. Led by Metro co-medalist Jane So, the Skyhawks return four girls that helped them finish second in the Metro last spring and eighth at the state meet
'If we show up to play every day and grind it out while on the course we should fare very well, at least on paper right now,' Southridge coach Pat Buckhalter said. 'But there are some very good returning players.'
So is the league's - and among the state's - best, winning week after week last season after transferring from Washington. The senior tied for fifth in the 2007 Class 6A state meet and 'has a complete game,' according to Buckhalter.
Sophomore Kaohi Loo should give the Skyhawks two golfers near the top of the leader board. Buckhalter said Loo,
who tied for sixth at last year's district meet, is 'developing an all-around game and is really making more strides. (So and Loo) will hopefully take two of the top three spots for individuals if we don't qualify as a team.'
Southridge also returns state participants Allison Ahl, and Laura Davis, both seniors, and junior Rebecca Reid. Davis will battle seniors Jill Tohlen, Christina Hampson and Naomi Kim, and freshman Hailey Speck for the Skyhawks' fifth varsity spot.
CEDAR MILL - There's an element of the unknown for Sunset this season, but with that comes one of intrigue for coach Brent Buell.
'With our youth and two freshmen who may contribute, I'm not sure where to place us in any pre-season league predictions,' Buell said. 'But I am really looking forward to seeing how our girls fare after their work in the pre-season.'
Sunset does have a steadying constant at the top in senior Kelsey Bledsoe, who qualified for the Class 6A state meet last year and looks to return this season.
'She works extremely hard on her game both during the season and in the off-season,' Buell said. 'It's great to see that kind of work ethic pay off.'
Freshman Angela Han is the Apollos' No. 2 player and has 'a beautiful swing,' Buell said.
'She is one of those players who makes the game seem effortless due to her natural talent,' he said. 'I'm excited to see her … get some experience under her belt and learn from the really good players that we have in our league.'
Junior Amanda Nelson returns for another varsity season and 'has gotten better and better each year,' Buell said. 'She strikes the ball very well and has improved on the scoring aspect of her game.'
Freshman Joy Voo and seniors Sara King and Sam Gatzke will compete for Sunset's No. 4 and 5 spots.
ROCK CREEK - Now in his third season, Wildcat coach Tim Purvis continues to build Westview's program, attracting 15 girls to a team that returns three varsity players. The Wildcats now enjoy depth and a promising future with just one senior among its 12 sophomores and freshmen.
'This is the best team I've had and by far the youngest,' Purvis said. 'We're really young, but I'm excited to have this team. They're hard workers and great to coach.'
Sophomores Samantha Chin and Courtney Smith lead Westview's youth movement. Chin was the Wildcat's No. 1 most of last season and the team's top finisher at the district meet, while Smith was Westview's No. 3 scorer.
'Samantha is pretty solid all the way around,' Purvis said. 'She's a real competitor. And I think Courtney's going to be a real good player.'
Purvis sees freshman Nicole Smith as 'an impact player in the league.' The Wildcats also return four-year member Allison Hillier, the team's lone senior, and sophomore Katie Fisher, who saw some varsity action last year.
Fisher and sophomore Hayley Cusick are among a large contingency vying for Westview's final varsity slot.
'There are five or six other girls right behind capable of challenging for a varsity position,' Purvis said. 'They all have physical talent. It just depends on who works hardest.'