By GREG KEIM
THE GOSHEN NEWS
Six letterwinners, including a regional qualifier, are reasons enough for the Goshen High School girls golf program to be a little more optimistic about the prospects for the 2013 season.
“There is cautious optimism,” fifth-year coach Brock Rose said. “I think we can be decent and be more competitive. Our goal the last couple of years was to be a .500 team. We just have not been able to get over that hump.”
The Redskins finished 6-8 (0-7 NLC) a year ago.
Goshen opens a very busy week with a match against Mishawaka Marian and Mishawaka Tuesday at Maplecrest Country Club. The Redskins then play in the Plymouth Invitational on Wednesday, host their own invitational on Friday at Black Squirrel Golf Club and compete in the East Noble Invitational Saturday at Noble Hawk Golf Links.
The Goshen Invite on Friday required some extra thinking.
“Goshen starts school on Friday so we had to get permission for our five varsity players to miss,” Rose said. “We had to do the same thing for the Fort Wayne Snider Invitational (Tuesday, Aug. 13). Both athletic director Larry Kissinger and principal Barry Younghans were very cooperative.
“We are hosting the NLC this year (Saturday, Sept. 14) at Maplecrest so we moved the invitational to Black Squirrel. One reason is we didn’t want NLC schools that play in the invite to get an extra chance to play Maplecrest. The other is since Maplecrest is a private course it’s harder for them to close the course an extra day for us.”
Highlighting the returnees is three-year letterwinner senior Teage Minier. Her average last season was around 45. She carded a 46-43—89 in the sectional a year ago at Noble Hawk and a 47-48—95 as an individual in the regional at Cobblestone Golf Course.
“Teage played in a lot of tourneys over the summer,” Rose said. “She took it upon herself to play as many tourneys as she could. The light came on for her last season when she realized not every shot is going to be perfect.”
Other veterans are senior Morgan Leonard, junior Gale Immel, sophomores Claire Palczynski and Sara Rodgers.
“We are going to rely heavily on to fill a slot for us,” Rose said. “We need her to be more consistent. Gale played a lot over the summer in addition to her 4-H projects and being a fair queen candidate. Now that those great experiences are over we are expecting things to click for her. A girl’s junior year is often when we see that happen. As a freshman they are timid and as a sophomore not sure if they are varsity or JV. The junior season is when all the work begins to pay off.
“Claire and Sara were both pleasant surprises last season. They showed some ability. Claire had her best round of the season in the sectional (46-54—100) and Sara had her season hampered by a wrist injury. She’s now completely healthy.
“We are going to go as far this season as Morgan, Gale, Claire and Sara can take us.”
One more letterwinner is junior Lauren Lehr.
“Lauren and (senior) Maddie Matthews will rotate into the varsity lineup at times,” the coach said. “I figure we have seven varsity golfers.
“Maddie is not going to be a cheerleader this year. It’s hard to do two sports in the same season. She has the ability to be as good as she wants to be.”
Also on the squad are senior Elizabeth Holbrook, sophomores Elizabeth Erickson and Nicole Miller and freshman Amy Holbrook.
New on the GHS schedule is the Wawasee Invitational on Saturday, Aug. 17 at South Shore Golf Club and a match with Penn on Wednesday, Aug. 14 at Maplecrest.
““We added Wawasee, because we are losing the FW Snider Invite after this season,” Rose said.
Bruce Zimmerman is back as an assistant coach and former GHS and University of Southern Indiana golfer Michael Koronkiewicz is a new addition.
“Michael gives me an extra set of eyes,” Rose said. “He has good experience as a player and his youth should help him relate to the girls. He is nice to have around for when Bruce and I take the varsity to a tournament. We can leave the rest of the team with Michael and he can run a practice.”