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Hart on par with SCV’s best

After a stellar season and a ton of talent returning, the Indians have their sights set on big thing

Posted: September 22, 2008 9:16 p.m.
Updated: November 24, 2008 5:00 a.m.

Hart's trio of 2007 All-SCV First Teamers Brenna Carlson, Amanda Corr and Nikki Prichard lead a strong and still young squad that also features All-SCV Honorable Mention Molly Cayson and up-and-coming freshman Kendall Dusenberry. Saugus, West Ranch, and Valencia will be in the hunt to catch Hart.

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Recently, Saugus High girls golf head coach David Stradling went to bed thinking, "Yeah, maybe my team can compete for a Foothill League title."

Defending champion Hart High golfed the next day. He saw the Indians' scores.

"So much for that thought," he said.

It's undeniable.

The Hart girls golf team, with the best trio of now-sophomore girls golfers in recent memory and the best freshman,
will win the Foothill League title.

"Will" is a strong word, but no coach, no parent, no one who has covered girls golf would say otherwise.

Hart won league in the fourth (out of five) Foothill match last year and will likely do so again.

The team returns All-SCV First Teamers Amanda Corr, who had the lowest stroke average in league in 2007, Brenna Carlson and Nikki Prichard.

Add senior All-SCV Honorable Mention Molly Cayson and freshman sensation Kendall Dusenberry, and the Indians may be the most formidable girls golf team in this area's history.

In fact, the real focus at Hart is the postseason and how far the Indians can get.

Last season, the Indians made the Southern Section Team Finals (second round of the team playoffs).

Could state finals be ahead this season?

"Oh, I don't know - that's putting the cart before the horse," said Hart head coach Renee Onori.

OK, so another question remains.

Not for Hart, but for the league's other five teams.

If Hart has the No. 1 playoff spot sewn up, what about the other two playoff berths?

That's where things get interesting.

The consensus is that three teams will again compete for two spots - Saugus, West Ranch and Valencia.
Saugus and West Ranch may have the leg up with more experience.

The Centurions bring back their top golfer from last year, senior Tiara Wells.

She's also better.

"She works harder than any boy or girl we've had at Saugus," Stradling said. "When people on a team see someone doing that, it carries over."

Stradling hopes it rubs off on a solid core of returners in Nicole DeFrancisco, Catherine Walgamuth and Sophie Valentine.

The problem for the Centurions, though, is after improved No. 5 player Katie McCants, Saugus is shorthanded.

So while others will send out six golfers, Saugus will field five. (Five scores are counted, with the highest score dropped in league play.)

This could be beneficial to a team like West Ranch, which has more depth.

Sarah Kang, who made the CIF Individual Playoffs last year, will lead the Wildcats this season as a senior.

Kang worked with a swing coach this summer and has further improved.

Junior Diane Kim is another improved player who could compete for the individual playoffs.

But after four-year varsity golfer Christina Roscigno, West Ranch has questions.

"Your wild cards are your four, five, six players," said Wildcats head coach Jeff Holen. "My four, five, six - none of them have put together a good round (yet). (Senior) Diana Park, if she has a good round, we're going to do well."

Valencia is hoping to sneak up on West Ranch and Saugus, though the Vikings have an uphill climb.

After winning league titles in 2004, 2005 and 2006 and trotting out some of the valley's best-ever talent, the Vikings are young and inexperienced.

All-SCV Golfer of the Year Jasnin Samson is now playing golf at Cal State Northridge. She helped carry the team to a second-place finish last year.

No one of her ilk remains.

"We're in a rebuilding year with just two players back," said Valencia head coach Andy Raevouri.

Sue Chung leads the team, but after that it's youth dominated.

Yet Raevouri might have a special group on its hands that could compete for a league title down the line.

Freshmen Katie Cowell, Amanda Bock, Alyssa Green and Allie Jin will learn the ropes this year, while Chung and junior Katya Ortiz try and bring them along.

So Golden Valley and Canyon remain battling for contention.

Golden Valley lost its school's best-ever golfer to graduation - Grace Nam.

The Grizzlies still have Brittany Suarez, though.

Suarez was a solid No. 2 last season and looks to surprise some people.

"For someone whose goal is to make it out of league and into CIF, it's an uphill battle, but she has the mental ability and golfing game to make it," said Golden Valley head coach Tony Moskal.

Sophomore Grace Bauman has shown flashes, but will have to improve on her consistency for the Grizzlies to compete.

Canyon has its top golfer, Jenna Loucks, returning for her senior season and hard-working senior Katie Mulvihill.

After that, the Cowboys lack depth.

But the future is Canyon's hope.

Four freshmen have made the team, which gives some room for optimism.

"Every year we're getting more victories. We're improving," said Canyon head coach Bob Schulte. "But the competition in league is not balanced at all. But we're having fun."

Five spots are reserved for CIF individuals, and Hart's five could very well be the league's representatives.

But there's a twist.

The Foothill Most Valuable Player will be in. After that, the four spots will go to the four girls who shoot the lowest on the final day of league competition.

That makes it anybody's game.

Regardless, though, Hart has something special.

Corr, Carlson and Prichard were special last year, with Corr breaking out as league MVP.

Dusenberry looks to duplicate that success.

The daughter of Samantha Ford-Dusenberry, one of the valley's brightest softball superstars, Kendall Dusenberry has impressed already.

Onori won't go into how good she is, but will say this: "Obviously, I can only tell you from the play I've seen, I have four No. 1 players."

A scary thought.


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