The Lima Central Catholic girls golf team enters the 2018 seasons with a lofty goal and with good reason.
“After a third-place finish at the (Division II) state meet (in 2017), the team is focused on a return trip to state to bring home a championship,” coach Dan Reinicke said. “Four of the five starters at the state meet are returning.”
Mary Kelly Mulcahy last year earned all-state honors as a freshman with a fifth-place individual finish in the D-II finals, shooting a two-day total of eight-over par. Also back are Mary Kelly’s siblings senior Meghan and sophomore Erin and senior Hannah Garver.
Here is conference-by-conference breakdown of area teams.
Midwest Athletic Conference
St. Henry returns first team all-conference pick sophomore Ellen Naumann, second-teamer senior Elizabeth Rockwell and honorable mention selection junior Claire Clune from a team that finished second to Versailles in the conference race and reached state in Division II.
“I really hope we can go back (to state) again,” said Naumann, who played in the Lima Junior Golf Association tournament during the summer. “I think I could probably improve but (my game’s) gotten a lot better since even the start of summer. (Playing in) the Lima League really helps.”
Other St. Henry letter winners returning include senior Abby Gast and junior Alana Siefring.
“The girls are very excited about the upcoming golf season,” St. Henry coach Gary Broering said. “They got a taste of playing in the state golf tournament in Columbus last season and are hoping to do well this fall.”
Other first-team picks back include Parkway senior Haylee Stukey, New Bremen senior Amy Balster and junior Sarah Parker. Girls who also earned second-team spots as underclassmen include Minster senior Kaycie Wissman, New Bremen senior Caylie Hall, Parkway seniors Mecaylah Hesse and Lauren Henderson and Coldwater junior Emma Eckstein.
Juniors Autumn Ellis (Parkway) and Cassie Stachler (New Bremen) made honorable mention along with senior Payton Kunk and sophomore Lexi Wright from Coldwater.
Senior Emma Shafer and sophomore Cassidy Werts are back for Delphos St. John’s.
“We have a lot of youth which will be great for the program going forward,” DSJ coach John Klausing said. “I just have two girls coming back from last year. I expect them to help lead the girls and make improvements during the year. As long as we improve from week to week it will be a great season.”
Also returning are seniors Madison Kroeger for Parkway and Katlyn Broerman for New Bremen. Also competing in 2017 sectionals were sophomores Allison Vaughn and Shelby Stammen and senior Becca Wood for Fort Recovery, sophomores Sarah Diller and Abby Ashbaugh for Coldwater, seniors Macy Spieth and Kendra Price for Marion Local and seniors Taylor Homan and Natalie Bensman for Minster.
“We have all returning letter winners back, so I’m looking forward to a season of growth and more confident play,” Parkway coach Teri Samples said. “I feel this group of ladies are invested in the program and want to push themselves to find even greater success this season.”
“We finished third in the MAC last year and have five returning letter winners, including our top three players,” New Bremen coach Mike Holdren said. “We should compete for the MAC championship and get out of a very tough sectional.”
Western Buckeye League
Medalist Morgan Altenbach, who played in the Division I districts, returns along with fellow seniors Taylor Burgess, Jeanna Fullom and Grace Rhodes and sophomore Maggie Gray from last year’s tournament champ Shawnee.
“We will have a strong top five this year and hope to win the WBL tournament,” Shawnee coach Penny Spainhower said. “The girls have set high goals for the team and plan to work hard to achieve those goals. We also want to make a good run at sectionals and hope to qualify for districts as a team.”
Sophomore Taylor West and seniors Olivia Place and Allison Kohlrieser competed for Wapakoneta at sectionals as did juniors Madelynn Sudhoff, Aisha Saleem and Emma Sweeney and sophomore Kendra Marsee for Celina.
Division III district qualifier senior Alivia Koenig along with seniors Kennedy Coughlan and Mara Minnig are back for NWC tournament champion Bluffton.
“With many returning players this year we hope to improve on the great record (16-6) we had last year and make a lasting impression on Division II girls golf,” Bluffton coach Nicholas Rackley said. “The ladies are fired up and focused to make a run to districts this year, and possibly farther. We are looking forward to see where this season will take us.”
Sophomore Winter Boroff returns for Lincolnview which has brought in three freshmen.
“The Lady Lancers will be extremely inexperienced as graduation over the past two seasons has decimated the depth of the team,” coach Brad Doidge said.
For Allen East, 2017 sectional competitors seniors Kacey Meyer, Kayla LaRotonda and Sydney Miller return.
“We have three solid seniors with experience,” Allen East coach Mike Abbey said. “If we can get a decent fourth look out for these girls.”
Letter winners back for Delphos Jefferson include junior Sydnie McGue and sophomores Riley Smith, Anna Fitch, Emma Mueller, Alivia Carpenter and Kaylee Buzard return for Delphos Jefferson.
“After starting our program last season, we are poised to build on what experience we gained in 2017,” Delphos Jefferson coach Ryan Strickler said. “Smith, Fitch, Mueller, Buzard and Carpenter give us depth and the more they play the better we will become. This is a tremendous group of ladies that are so much fun to be around and the more rounds we play, the better we will be.”
Crestview senior Olivia Skelton and Paulding sophomore Hailey Hartzell, who is a member of the boys team during the regular season, competed in the postseason as individuals.
Putnam County League
Kalida junior Grace Miller, who earned all-league second team honors playing for the boys team, qualified for Division II districts in 2017. She will be a member of the boys team in the regular season and hopes to earn a spot on the postseason boys squad.
Leipsic letter winners seniors Hannah Goedde and Jala Hazelton, junior Morgan Kamphaus and sophomores Madeline Walther and Ella Rigel return for Leipsic.
“This is only the third year of having a girls’ golf team at Leipsic,” coach Kevin Brandt said. “These girls showed huge improvement throughout the year last year and I expect the same this year.”
Junior Hannah Hoehn and sophomore Allie Honigford are back for Ottoville.
“These two girls compete very well with each other in practice and will play some matches and be very competitive with other ladies,” Ottoville coach Jim Brown said. “Each has a chance to make it out of sectionals if they both continue to improve as they did last year.”
Fort Jennings senior Lexie Stant, who is a member of the boys team, competed as an individual in the girls sectionals last year.
Letter winners seniors Riley Davenport and Kiara Daniel and sophomores Nakiya Sigman, Alivea Buchanan and Taylor Talbert are back for Lima Senior.
“We are just looking to enjoy the game of golf and get a little better each day,” Lima Senior coach Vince Halliday said.
Ridgemont senior Danielle Mouser competed at the Fox’s Den Golf Club D-II sectional as an individual.
Editor’s note: Unless otherwise mentioned, the classes for the players are for the 2018-19 school year.