Girls golf could have familiar look in Wabash Valley

Girls golf could have familiar look in Wabash Valley

High school girls golf in the Wabash Valley tends to follow a familiar pattern, in which Northview, Terre Haute North and Terre Haute South battle for supremacy every fall.

Last year coach Cara Stuckey’s Braves were sectional champions for the third time in four seasons. Northview interrupted the Braves’ streak by winning in 2019, and North won four straight years from 2013 through 2016, for example.

The rewards for that three-way dominance are miniscule, however. The top three sectional teams — usually the same three — are routed to regional competition hosted by Roncalli at Smock Golf Course in southern Marion County, which almost always includes five or six top-20 teams (only three of whom advance to the state finals). Last year the Braves placed 11th, the Patriots 14th and the Knights 15th, although North’s Nikki Bonilla came close to reaching the state finals as an individual.

As the teams began their practices on Friday — with matches to be played as soon as Monday — very little looks likely to change.

Northview has the most experience returning, and North isn’t far behind. Under Stuckey, the Braves find a way to be a factor every season.

A potential bright spot? West Vigo, which didn’t even field a team last fall.

• Northview — Coach Josh Trout’s Knights have all five regular players returning from a team that was second at the sectional and Western Indiana Conference champion.

Senior Brooklee Bussing and junior Karsyn Kikta are the top two returning scorers from sectional play, while the rest of the roster includes seniors Makayla Beasley and Dayna Dayer; juniors Kyia Fox, Audrey Jackman, Grace Mishler and Peyton Wolfe; and freshmen Delana White and Aneka Maurer.

“This is a dedicated and hard-working group,” Trout said. “The girls have worked very hard this summer and we’re excited for the upcoming season. They’ve played in local and junior tournaments around the state.”

Northview plays in the Plainfield Invitational on Monday.

• Terre Haute North — Bonilla graduated after nearly making the state finals last season, but coach Brent Mier has some pieces to work with.

Sophomore Rylee Roscoe returns after being the Patriots’ No. 2 player last year, and senior Karson Hart has “improved immensely,” Mier said, including reaching the championship flight of the recent women’s city tournament.

Freshman Delaney Ferres is expected to be a strong contributor and will battle senior returnees Celine Park and Paige Loughmiller and juniors Emma Lubbehusen and Jetta Harmon for spots in the regular lineup.

North opens Monday at the Bloomington South Invitational.

• Terre Haute South — The Braves return two of their top five from last season in senior Grace Kidwell, recently a repeater as Terre Haute Junior City champion, and sophomore Abi English, who was third in that tournament.

Sophomore Presley White and freshman Gabbie Blakeney are two newcomers and others have attended voluntary practices earlier this summer.

“We will look for Grace to provide leadership, both in her scores and to her younger teammates,” Stuckey said.

South’s first competition is the Washington Invitational on Aug. 7.

• West Vigo — The Vikings had no girls golf season last year, so coach Chris Cassell was waiting until Friday to discover whether or not he’d have golfers this fall.

He might have been pleasantly surprised.

“We had 10 girls sign up,” Vikings athletic director Kenny Pearson reported. “We will have a transfer coming in that should be really good.”

The Vikings don’t have a meet scheduled until Aug. 18.

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