They may not be the most experienced bunch, but no one can say the Skyline women golfers don’t have strength in numbers. Going into their season-opening tournament Thursday, they had 23 girls ready and willing to tee it up.
“Depth and numbers are definitely strengths,” said Ashley Mantha, entering her eighth season as coach of the Eagles. “With 23 on the roster, you’re definitely going to have some strength in numbers.”
Last season’s 7-4 finish also was also a strength for the Skyline women on the course. They finished fifth in the SEC and they were fourth at Regionals. Those are pretty solid results made more impressive when you consider that the fourth at Regionals was their best finish ever and they recorded the best team score in school history.
You might look at last season, and the fact that there are 23 golfers on the Eagles squad, and think they have a big leg up on the competition. But, they are going to have to get major contributions from some young golfers because just two returners are back from the 2017 team.
That’s not to say Skyline can’t match last year’s successful campaign. It’s just that they are going to have to get consistent play out of some golfers who haven’t been there before.
Junior Nikki Lama and Cammi Tirico are the returners who hope to lead the way this season, and they will have a young bunch following.
“We’ll need that experience because we have a lot of newer players,” Mantha said. “When you have only two returners you know you’re going to have to rely on your upperclassmen to take in the underclassmen and show them the ropes.”
Some of the top newcomers who have shown some ability as the season approached were junior Evelynne Crumm, sophomores Alison Marshall and Amber Hing, and freshmen Adie Maki and Addy Meadows.
“Fundamentals will be the key,” Mantha said. “We stress a fun learning environment with emphasis on practicing fundamentals and getting competition-ready.”
The two returners from the 2017 team understand Mantha’s practice routine, and her style of coaching. The rest are just catching on. And, in that fun learning environment of which Mantha speaks, it is hoped that they can catch on quickly in order to contribute and have fun at the same time.
After Thursday’s opening tournament at Huron Meadows, the Eagles now go to Pine View for their first SEC league match Monday, Aug. 20 at 3 p.m. against Lincoln and Tecumseh.