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Golfers face 'tougher, better' courses

Front Row L-R: Hannah Beebe, Lyndsey Hurford, Emily Cleland (sitting), Claire Wolanin (sitting), Heather Lafnear, Kyla Kurczewski On golf cart L-R: Assistant Coach Gretchen Gabler and Head Coach Terry Kelley. Not pictured: Emilie Defrain and Riley Hayes (click for larger version)
September 01, 2010 - Varsity Girls Golf Coach Terry Kelley isn't sweating moving from the Flint Metro League into the Oakland Activities Association.

"We're fine," said Kelley. "We're 2-0 in the league and we have had some middle of the pack finishes in tournaments. We scored well even when we didn't rank well."

So far, the girls defeated Avondale 197-234 and West Bloomfield 189-219.

If the early season is any indicator, Kelley might be in store for a great season. The team has already established records for total team score (189) and lowest round (37 by freshman Kyla Kurczewski).

The six other teams the Wildcats will go against for a division title are Bloomfield Hills Andover, Birmingham Groves, Troy Athens, Farmington and Bloomfield Hills Lasher.

According to Kelley, the biggest change from the FML to the OAA will be the golf courses. "The courses are going to be tougher and better courses," he said. "There will be some teams that will be every bit as good as we faced in the Flint Metro, but I don't think that any are going to be better than what we faced there."

He is hoping this season that the girls can finish near the middle of the pack in their first season.

Kelly has not named any captains yet, but he said there is strength at the freshman level and they bring back some letterman from last year's team.

So far, Kurczewski is the team's leading scorer, followed by junior Hannah Beebe and freshman Emily Cleland.

In the Wildcat's victory over West Bloomfield, Cleland was the team's medalist, shooting a 44.

"It's real encouraging," Kelley said.

The rest of the team is averaging right around 50, according to Kelley.

One aspect that Kelley is grateful for is that half of the season will be completed when the girls start school.

"There will be less time out of school for the girls and that is important," Kelley said. "It kind of jams up their the last two weeks of their summer vacation, but they are dealing with it pretty well."

The team will play 11 of their matches before the players even step into the classroom.

Kelley said that since the league is smaller, they have more open dates to schedule 18 hole tournaments. "Many of the 18 hole tournaments are scheduled before the school year starts," he added. "I try to keep from taking the girls out of school."

Andrew Moser is a staff writer for the Oxford Leader.
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