Source: Sherman Publications

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Girls enjoy strong turnout, improved links play

August 17, 2011

From left, junior Paige Kevnick, seniors Riley Dunn, Stacy Lecznar, and Maddie McClean drive for show after playing a short course. Photo by G. Ouzounian
The player pool for the Lake Orion varsity girls golf team is growing and with it the team's quality of play.

Head Coach Monty Gallaher said the number of girls coming out for the team has been rising for the past three years, nearly doubling since 2009.

"We had a great turnout this year, with 18 players trying out for varsity," said Gallaher. "It was easily one of my best shows for tryouts. We kept 17 on the team this year, versus15 last year. The year before that we only had 10, so it's nice to see the numbers slowly creeping up."

Returning players include senior co-captains Maddie McClean and Stacy Lecznar, as well as senior Riley Dunn, who Gallaher said were his top three players. Also returning is junior Paige Kevnick. Two freshmen, Victoria Basso and Samanatha Fox, are on the varsity roster, as well. Gallaher said he has known Lecznar since she made the freshmen team four years ago and met McClean a year later, when he began teaching higher levels of golf. He said both are "excellent students and leaders."

Tryouts continue this week and Gallaher said the roster may increase, depending on who may be ready to move up to a stiffer level of competition.

"We'll be going to golf camp, along with 14 other area teams, where we'll do workshops and team training on Tuesday and Wednesday," said Gallaher. The golf team's first tournament is this Thursday in Troy as part of an invitational.

"In our division, Stoney Creek, Rochester and Troy are always good, so those are the teams to match up to," said the head coach. "Right now we're a little weak as far as competitive play goes, but we can definitely compete."

Gallaher noted his team's sole goal this year is to get better and have fun, while learning the game.

"Some of these girls are naturally talented and that's good," he said. "But, if they're not into the game they'll never get any better. Having fun while you play makes you want to get better. When I give an instruction to these girls, they take it to heart because they're enjoying what they do and, as a coach, that's all I can ask for."