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Golfers hope to finish strong

(Left to right): Emily Zeliasko, Kyla Kurczewski, Katie Mattiello, Alicia Kuligowski, Clarisse Hurford, Carlie delaPaz, Dana DeRyckere, Jordyn Zyngier, Mckenzie Chaisson, Marisa O'Dea, Emily Cleland and JV Coach Gretchen Gabler. Not pictured: Therezine Corcoran and Coach Terry Kelley. (click for larger version)
October 02, 2013 - Girls Varsity Golf team finished fourth out five teams in the OAA White Division after their second league match-up on Sept. 25.

"We knew coming into the season that Bloomfield would be good because they had Lahser in a handover last year," said Head Coach Terry Kelley. "They didn't lose much to graduation and then they combined into one school (Andover and Lahser consolidated to become Bloomfield Hills High in 2013.) We knew they would be strong and they proved to be that,"

"Farmington Harrison has been a real good program for several years and this year was no exception," he continued. "They and Bloomfield may have even tied for our league division championship."

Going into the second league match-up, Kelley said he would have placed Oxford as the third best team, but they got a surprise from Avondale.

"They've always had two good golfers, but (this year) they picked up a third player from some place and she really cemented that team," he added. "They beat us by 20 strokes. I never had a team get beat by 20 strokes."

As of Sept. 25 the girls had a current record of 2-3 in dual matches.

"We lost a couple close ones and got beat pretty bad a couple times," noted Kelley. "We're still kind of searching for an identity. It's getting late in the season, but I keep thinking one of these times these girls are going to surprise me."

As for the nine tournaments, the girls have played so far, Kelley said they finished "middle of the field" in most of them. However they did take first in a triangular match up early in the season at the Golden Wedge Tournament, which was against Lapeer East and Holly.

Individually, Senior Captains Kyla Kurczewski and Emily Cleland have led the team in the one-two combination.

"They have been our captains for a couple years and done a real good job for us. They are both pretty solid players and frequently they medal in the tournaments they are in," he said. "Kyla has been in the top 10 of every tournament she has played in this year and in the top five most of the time. They (both) are good leaders for our younger players and very consistent."

Junior Alicia Kuligowski filled the number three spot

"She had never broken 100 until a couple weeks ago and hasn't been above 100 since," Kelley said. "She has been shooting in the mid 90's quite consistently and has the potential to go lower than that."

In the five spot is sophomore Clarissse Hurford, who Kelley said "is going to be very good next year."

"She is working very hard," he said. "She always listens carefully and makes every attempt to improve wherever I make a recommendation and that nearly always pays off."

Swinging sixth is Junior Kaitlyn Mattiello, who Kelley describes as a "physically strong girl."

"She can hit the ball a mile," he added. "She's struggled right now with some setup problems and her scores have reflected that recently, but when you're playing in a match or a tournament and try to make adjustments it is very difficult."

The two other hitters filling the seven and eight spots include Freshmen Mckenzie Chaisson and Sophmore Emily Zeliasko.

McKenzie just picked up the game this spring and has made tremendous strides. She will be one of our anchors in the future," Kelley said. Emily is also very committed to being a better player and it's beginning to show. Her scores have come down steadily throughout the season to the extent that we've now been able to use her at the varsity level."

As for the team overall, Kelley said they've been "a pleasant group of girls to work with."

We will miss our senior leadership and scorers (next year), but it's been an enjoyable season."

The girls will take a swing next at the MHSAA Regionals in Port Huron on Oct. 9.

"Some of the best teams in the state are going to be in our regionals, but we always look forward to the competition," Kelley said. "Whether we'll be up for qualifying for states that remains to be seen, we'd have to play our very best, but that's always our goal."

Trevor graduated with degrees in English and communications from Rochester College. He wrote for his college and LA View newspapers before joining The Clarkston News in May 2007.
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