The girls golf season is underway. Here are previews of teams in the Kane County Chronicle area.
Coach: Tim Kauffmann
Top returners: Brooke Besic, sr; Mandy Naylor, sr.; Lauren Sudler, sr.
Top newcomer: Avery Sheehan, fr.
Worth noting: Batavia is ready to go with Mandy Naylor as its No. 1 golfer. Naylor was a unanimous DuKane Conference selection last season and will lead the group moving forward. Avery Sheehan has positioned herself for a likely No. 2 slot and expectations for her are high. “Once she adjusts to varsity competition, she will be a force to reckon with,” Kauffmann said.
“[It’s] a very upperclassmen heavy [team]. We will compete for conference and if we play the way I know we can play, we could compete for regionals too. We will be very consistent,” Kauffmann said.
Coach: Sean Meyer (first season)
Last season: Seventh at FVC Tournament
Top returners: Ariana Riep, sr.; Gisele Shahzada, jr.
Key newcomers: Riya Gangavarapu, so.
Worth noting: Meyer enters his first season as the Rockets’ coach and is the team’s third coach in as many years. … Central took a step back in the FVC last year, going from fourth to seventh at the conference meet after graduating 2021 Northwest Herald Girls Golfer of the Year Maya Gusciora. … Riep was one of two sectional qualifiers for the Rockets last fall. ... “We have a tight group of girls this year who enjoy being out on the course and learning and pushing themselves to become better each day,” Meyer said. “It should be a very exciting season.”
-- Alex Kantecki
Coach: Kevin O’Brien
Top returners: Olivia Rawls, sr.
Top newcomers: Joanna Brylka, so.; Olivia Schreiber, fr.
Worth noting: The Vikings return Rawls from last year’s varsity lineup, but primarily feature an inexperienced group the rest of the way.
“As collective group we are young team. The girls bring great attitudes to the course each day and look for ways that they can improve on their game,” O’Brien said.
Coach: Joe Hughes
Top returners: Braelyn Davoust, sr.; Livi Wegner, sr.
Top Newcomers: Addison Braverman, sr.; Brighton Davoust, so.; Kailey Kunstman, so.
Worth noting: The Knights return just Braelyn Davoust and Livi Wegner from last year’s lineup, but Addison Braverman, Brighton Davoust and Kailey Kuntsman infuse a good lift of new talent.
“The Varsity experience for this group is light, but they are a hard working group who are doing everything they can to get better. They practice with the intent to make improvements, and their focus is always on getting better,” Hughes said.
Coach: John Rutter
Top returners: Alivia Brennan, jr.; Vivianna Ruby, sr.; Maya Thomas, jr.
Top newcomers: Paige Eddy, so.; Ava Kuruc, so.
Worth noting: The Royals are in strong position to open the season with three of their top four golfers in Brennan, Ruby and Thomas back for another season. The key now is to find consistency and bring Eddy and Kuruc along to round out a top-five.
“Our younger players are still developing their game and we hope that a couple of them will be able to contribute come mid-season,” Rutter said.
St. Charles East
Coach: Jarod Gutesha
Top returners: Avery Andelman, so.; Emma Jones, jr.; Charlotte Tassone, so.; Mia Martin, so.; Olivia Vosburgh, so.
Top newcomers: Manuela Ramirez, jr.
Worth noting: The Saints don’t have any seniors in their top six golfers, but all returners have varsity experience from last season. Ramirez, who recently transferred in from Florida, has quickly burst in the scene as their top golfer in the rotation.
“Charlotte and Manuela have almost matched each other stroke for stroke over the qualifying and first Invitational at Bonnie Dundee GC,” Gutesha said. “Tassone and Ramirez each shot a 9 over par, 80 at Bonnie Dundee last Thursday.”
St. Charles North
Coach: Steven Dodd
Top returners: Rylee Huddleston, jr.; Hanna Kizman, jr.
Top newcomer: Izzy Crosse, jr.
Worth noting: The North Stars have Huddleston at the top of the lineup. Dodd reports she already played an under-par round during tryouts and finished sixth at their first invite of the young season. Kizman has steadily improved from last season and will be pushing for good scores. Crosse has elevated herself into the top three after a strong tryout and previous junior varsity season last year.
“The potential for this team seems a little better than the last couple of years and we feel there is a good chance that we could get some players or hopefully the team to represent St. Charles North at State finals this year,” Dodd said.