The girls golf season is underway. Here are previews of teams in the Kane County Chronicle area.
Coach: Tim Kauffmann
Top returners: Amanda Naylor, jr.; Lauren Sudler, jr.
Top newcomer: Brooke Besic, jr.
Worth noting: Batavia graduated eight seniors, but Naylor’s return will be a jolt for the Bulldogs who have aspirations for a DuKane Conference title. Sudler, Besic and Mya Henderson are all names to watch.
Coach: Mike Bui
Top returners: Gisele Shahzada, so.; Natalia Gusciora, so.; McKenna Berglind, sr.; Ariana Riep, jr.
Top newcomers: Ella Riep, fr.; Sydney Cavallari, fr.; Riya Gangavarapu, fr.
Worth noting: The Rockets no longer have the services of top golfer Maya Gusciora, who won the FVC Tournament individual championship and qualified for the state meet in her final high school season. Gusciora made the Day 2 cut at state and ended her career with a two-day score of 84-81-165. The team had 15 golfers come out to tryouts, a number that is much larger than in recent years. Shahzada and Natalia Guscoira were both named to the All-FVC team last season. “The goal is to continue to grow the program and make it as competitive as possible,” said Bui, in his first season as coach. “We are only a day into the new season, but I love the attitude of the kids. I expect us to work hard every day on the course to improve.”
– Alex Kantecki
Coach: Julia Callahan
Top returners: Ally Ward, jr.; Reagan Krohe, jr. Olivia Rawls, jr.
Top newcomers: Paige Flanigan, fr.; Joanna Brylka, fr.
Worth noting: The Vikings certainly will miss graduated star Reese Clark in their lineup. Clark, who tied for fourth at state, was a consistent medalist and one of the best in the DuKane Conference. The Vikings bring back Ward, Krohe and Rawls in the lineup. They’ll likely be the top three competitors for Geneva.
Coach: Joe Hughes
Top returners: Katharine Marshall, sr.; Julia Skiba, sr.; Braelyn Davoust, jr.; Aeryn Hwang, jr.; Meredith Naab, sr.
Worth noting: A force last season, the Knights should not lose a step in the Interstate 8. Marshall had a strong offseason of state and national tournaments to boost her game. Kaneland has an experience-heavy team with everyone carding a varsity score at some point last year.
– Eddie Carifio
Coach: John Rutter
Top returners: None
Top newcomers: Viviana Ruby, jr.; Alivia Brennan, so.; Maya Thomas, so.; Molly Nemechek, sr.
Worth noting: The Royals have no returners from last season after graduating 10 from their roster. This will be a whole new group to break in, so how competitors develop over the course of the season will be interesting to watch.
St. Charles East
Coach: Jarod Gutesha
Top returner: Emily Charles, sr.
Top newcomers: Catherine Haggerty, jr.; Avery Andelman, fr.; Elizabeth Parker, fr.
Worth noting: The Saints graduated almost their entire starting varsity lineup from last season. Charles, who made a run in the state tournament, is the only returner. Six out of the eight varsity slots will be underclassmen, including four freshmen, so how the group develops will be important come tournament time.
St. Charles North
Coach: Steven Dodd
Top returners: Isabella Garza, sr.; Natalia Petrucci, sr.
Top newcomer: Rylee Huddleston, so.
Worth noting: The North Stars’ lineup will look a bit different after graduating three from last season. Catie Nekola, the 2021 Kane County Chronicle Girls Golfer of the Year, and Aleksandra Gizewicz were two of the graduates, so replacing their production will be a key. The North Stars recently placed sixth as a team to open the season at the Conant Early Bird Invite.
Coach: Hayley Jefferson
Top returners: Emmy Hollarbush, jr.; Katherine Lilly, sr.; Lucy Jania, jr.
Top newcomer: Sophia Hillebrand, fr.
Worth noting: It is difficult to find a team that was as successful as the Spartans were a year ago. St. Francis went undefeated in Metro Suburban Conference matches, won a regional title, was runner-up at sectionals and placed eighth in the Class 1A state finals. Hollarbush, who was 21st individually at state, is back and should be a medalist in most matches. Leah Grivetti, Lilly and Jania each turned in solid performances to help the Spartans win their first match of the season earlier this week.