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Area teams getting ready to tee off


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Center Grove coach Jim Williams calls it the fastest sports season on the planet.

From start to finish, the high school girls golf season runs only two months. The regular season begins next week, and the Trojans are expected to be among the area’s top postseason contenders.

Center Grove, which finished second in last year’s Southport-hosted sectional behind Roncalli, has most of its starters back.

“I can’t wait to get going,” junior Sydney Abbott said. “We’ve been working extremely hard over the summer, and I anticipate we will have a strong team capable of making it to the state finals.”

Abbott, seniors Raquel Helton and Marrissa Anderson, and sophomores Shelby Schier, Hannah Wilson, Sydney Castellanos and Taylor Watters are among the Trojans’ top players.

Williams said players have been relentless about following through on the concept of team versus individual play.

“It’s been successful in the past, and we’re relying on it again,” he said.

The Trojans open the season against county rival Greenwood at Dye’s Walk on Tuesday.

This year’s state finals moves to a new location, Prairie View Golf Club in Carmel on Oct. 3-4. The finals were at The Legends Golf Club in Franklin from 2000 to 2013.

Franklin

The Grizzly Cubs, under longtime coach Curt Holcroft, are in a rebuilding year.

Lost to graduation were two-time regional qualifier Hannah White, who will continue her golf career at Franklin College, and starters Ciara Wright and Jessica Thomas.

Returning are senior Lexie Elliott and junior Katelyn Margason, who were starters on last year’s team that finished fifth at the sectional.

Other players returning with experience are sophomores Madeline Daily and Nikita Klotzsche. A pair of promising freshmen, Avery Auton and Samantha Etter, should help out.

Franklin begins its season at the Plainfield Invitational on Monday.

Greenwood

Former Whiteland Community High School and Franklin College golf standout Brittany Stephens takes over as the coach at Greenwood. Last year’s team advanced to the regional with a third-place sectional finish.

Leading the way this season will be senior Shelby Johnson. Other starters returning are senior Hannah Cross and juniors Melanie Hughes, Katie Lindstrom and Paige Sobieray.

The Woodmen begin their season at the Plainfield Invitational on Monday.

Indian Creek

The Braves, under veteran coach Rose Moore, enjoyed a 13-2 season a year ago, and they did it with only five players.

Lost to graduation was regional qualifier Tori Caudill, who will attend Lindsey Wilson College in Columbia, Kentucky, on a swimming scholarship.

However, the bulk of the starting lineup returns — senior Kaitlin Smith, junior Hannah Johnson and sophomore Jessi Button. Freshman Olivia Parsley is expected to make an immediate contribution.

Indian Creek opens the season in a triangular match against host Beech Grove and Decatur Central on Monday.

Whiteland

Third-year coach Kristen Welker will be without the services of two-time state tournament qualifier Alexa West (Marian University). But the Warriors welcome back an all-county performer in junior Savannah Craven, who is expected to take the leadership reins.

“We are excited to get the season started,” Craven said. “Our determination to do well is at an all-time high. We are ready to get to work.”

Senior Madison Dolen and juniors Lauren Kumpf and Taylor Lucas are among the Warriors’ experienced returners.

The Warriors open the season against University at Hillview Country Club in Franklin on Aug. 7.

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