State's female golfers still must deal with the "X' factor
Originally published: Aug 14, 2013 - 12:00 am
Note: This article includes schools in the writer’s area of coverage, which is as follows: from Fountain Hills west through Scottsdale, all of Phoenix (except for Ahwatukee), the southwest, northwest and northern sections of the metro area. Other locales include northern, northeast and northwest Arizona. Most of this information comes from e-mail questionnaires returned by the coaches.
Xavier Prep’s Sister Lynn Winsor doesn’t really need to exercise.
She gets her strength from lifting girls’ golf championship trophies.
Entering her 40th year at the central Phoenix school (where she also is athletic director), Winsor has helped hoist a title trophy 30 times and would like nothing better than to make it 31.
“The girls would like to win it, but they know there are some great teams out there that are going for the state title also,’’ Winsor said.
Winsor will have four out of five Division I championship tournament players returning, including sophomore Hannah O’Sullivan, who was the individual winner.
The list includes junior Ariana Macioce (fifth-place finish), junior Madison Kerley (seventh) and senior Megan Hauptman (13th). In addition, the team’s No. 6 player from a year ago, senior Katie Dunaway, is expected to assume a role among the big five.
Winsor will have depth, up to 14 players, as she has had in recent seasons. Many of the girls refined their skills by playing in summer tournaments.
Xavier plays its home matches at Phoenix Country Club and Camelback Golf Club.
The Gators also have a tough schedule that includes Division II champion Tucson Salpointe Catholic, Phoenix Pinnacle, Phoenix Desert Vista, Chandler Basha, Chandler and Chandler Hamilton.
The team also will have a special “fan’’ following it on the course. Winsor’s co-coach Tui Selvaratnam is entering her eighth season and is pregnant with a baby girl that is due to arrive in December. Winsor and the players have nicknamed the baby “Birdie.’’
Phoenix Horizon coach Doug Honkamp won’t have any seniors on his team this fall, but that doesn’t mean the Huskies will be short on talent.
The team is led by three juniors and a sophomore.
The juniors are “T’’ Statman, perhaps better known as one of the state’s top softball pitchers who already has committed to the University of Arizona, according to Honkamp; Mariola Szmit, who according to the coach is “poised for a breakout year;’’ and Kaila Jacobi, another softball player who shot two of her top scores at state last fall.
Sophomore Delaney Buck should provide a boost. She is an extremely long hitter.
The team wasn’t even in the top 30 just three short years ago, then moved to seventh in 2011 and was fifth last season.
“The girls want to make the jump to hang with Pinnacle, Xavier and Hamilton,’’ Honkamp said.
Phoenix Pinnacle should continue to be a factor with the play of junior twins Kaylee (sixth in D-I) and Megan Knadler (11th). They helped lead a team from Arizona to a fourth-place finish last week in the Mary Cave Cup tournament in El Cajon, Calif.
Glendale Mountain Ridge is looking for things to fall into place in D-I, particularly for senior Carly Akine and junior Karsten Mickelsen. The Mountain Lions finished sixth last season.
Dustin Riley is entering his fourth season as coach at Anthem Boulder Creek and says this year’s group has the most potential of any he’s coached. The key will be to mix some experienced players with a few looking to bring their game to the next level. Senior Shayla Norgaard and junior Morgan Smith will be the Jaguars’ leaders.
In Division II, Surprise Shadow Ridge will aim for contender’s status with the play of junior Casey Jansen, who finished 22nd in the state as a sophomore. She also is a top-notch student.
Two of the state’s top juniors hope to help their teams make a run in D-II. Kaylee Benton of Buckeye Verrado finished fourth a year ago and Abbie Cantwell of Cave Creek Cactus Shadows was fifth. Both have played very well during off-season tournaments.
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