Greencastle golfers seek strong season

Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Members of the 2007 Greencastle girls' golf team include (from left) Kristen Hutcheson, Jessica Pasho, Briana Martin, Kay Wood, Coach Brad Kingma, Diane Wokoun, Kelsey Murtagh, Dana Norman (not pictured) Chelsea Samuels, Ashlyn Archer, Kristen Field and Christy Shrader.

Greencastle girls' golf coach Brad Kingma begins the 2007 season facing the same challenges many of his peers face this time of year -- the Tiger Cubs are strong at the top, but need depth and consistency.

The team has no question as to its number one. Dana Norman is a senior, three-time letterman who consistently shoots the best scores on the team.

"Dana has shown she's going to be able to shoot some good scores," Kingma said.

For her part, Norman comes into her senior year confident. She has personal goals of making all-WCC, advancing out of sectional and breaking the schools 18-hole record of 82.

"It shouldn't be too hard since I've already shot an 85 this season," Norman said.

As for advancing, Norman wants this for a bigger goal at which she is aiming.

"The reason I'm trying to advance past sectional is I'm trying to get a scholarship to go to the University of Indianapolis," she said. "Other than that, I just like to play golf."

The Tiger Cubs have also found a solid number two in freshman Chelsea Samuels.

"She's been doing really well," said Kingma. "She's had some good scores already. It looks like she should be a good number two for us."

Norman also approves of the way her young teammate is playing.

"I see some talent in Chelsea Samuels," Norman said. She went on to say Samuels is already breaking 100, a feat she had not accomplished at the same level of experience.

After the top two, though, Kingma's challenge starts. He has solid player for three and four in seniors Jessica Pasho and Briana Martin, but these two are not always available, due to other commitments as cheerleaders.

With Pasho and Martin often unavailable, other players have been getting the chance to step in and contribute.

Kristen Field and newcomer Ashlyn Archer are the other two seniors on the team. The rest of the team is either young, new to the sport or both. Kelsey Murtagh, Christy Schrader, Kristen Hutcheson, Kay Wood and Diane Wokoun round out the team. Murtagh has shown promise although she is just learning the sport.

"She's hitting the ball fairly well for just starting out," Kingma said. "She's been able to get some good scores in practice."

The coach knows his younger players are preparing for the future.

"A lot of them are just learning, but they're building for next year," Kingma said. "Some of them will be available when Jessica and Briana aren't available."

Kingma's other major challenge comes in getting consistency out of his players. This could certainly be an issue with Pasho and Martin, given their divided commitments. Samuels is in a similar boat, participating in both golf and volleyball. Even Norman is not immune.

"I'm really hoping Dana can develop some more consistency," Kingma said. "If she can, she should be a good number one."

Knowing some of the issues he could face with such a raw team, Kingma keeps his goals simple.

"I'd like to see us improve greatly on last year," Kingma said, noting that he would like to see as high a placing in the county and conference as possible.

"I think Dana and Chelsea could certainly win some individual awards," he said.

With so many girls' golf programs struggling with participation, Kingma sees good things in simply the number of girls he has out.

"It was nice to a lot of the freshmen have come out this summer," the coach said. "We're definitely trying to get more out and build for the future."

Norman is also happy to have others to hand the program down to.

"I'm glad there's going to be a team after I graduate," she said.

The Tiger Cubs' next match is at 4:30 p.m. today at Danville against the host Warriors and South Putnam.

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