Westerville News & Public Opinion

Girls Golf

Wildcats' Davenport eyeing state

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The last time the Westerville South High School girls golf program had a Division I state qualifier was in 1999 when Tiffany Bell finished fourth on Ohio State's Gray Course.

Not only do they have a player with her eye on ending that drought, but the Wildcats could have their best overall team since before coach Jeff Owdom took over in 2010.

Senior Felicia Davenport shot 81 in the district tournament last season to finish just three strokes behind the second individual state qualifier.

"We will be more competitive this year," Owdom said. "My one and two should be pretty good and my three and four are still improving. We are much better than last year and Felicia Davenport's got a chance to make it to state."

On Aug. 6 at Mentel Memorial, South opened by finishing sixth (391) in the OCC-Capital Division tournament, behind champion Dublin Coffman (293). Neither Westerville North nor Westerville Central had enough players to post a team score.

Davenport finished third with a 74.

Junior Kieley Stroupe, who finished with a 100 in the 10-team Oakhaven sectional for South's second score behind Davenport (73) last year as the Wildcats placed eighth (405), has shown significant improvement, according to Owdom.

Rounding out the roster are senior Sarah Walters, juniors Kirsten Doty and Kaitlyn Dreher and sophomore Cierra Powell.

South competed in the second round of the league tournament Aug. 12 at The Links at Groveport.

Last season, the Wildcats finished sixth in the league at 11-21 after going 4-20 in 2012.

"We've been rebuilding for a couple of years and we'll definitely win some matches this year," Owdom said. "I don't know how well our team will do in the postseason, but (Davenport) has a lot more focus than most high school students and is just really smart."

North to feature young look

North has three of its top five back from a year ago and has added a new player.

In the 11-team Division I sectional at Mentel Memorial last season, the Warriors placed last with a 506. Sophomore Kaylee Joseph and juniors Diana Asta and Zoe Wallin all were first-year players who competed.

New to the program is sophomore Emma Heighway.

Sophomore Lizzy Nelson, who shot 96 at sectional, and junior Phoebe Alicardi are not back with the team.

"We still have a young team," coach Lane Halterman said. "Two of my players from last year did not return so we are down to four players, which is disappointing, but the returning players are committed to a strong season. I believe that as the players focus on the fundamentals in practice, we'll see strong improvement."

After not scoring during the first round of the league tournament, North competed in the second round Aug. 12 at The Links at Groveport.

"We hope to continue to have our new players work on areas where they need improvement," Halterman said. "With so many newer players on the team, we're focusing on strengthening the basics and becoming competitive."

Starkey takes over at Central

Aaron Starkey has taken over as Central's coach after Steve Stewart stepped down following his sixth season.

Starkey, who teaches English at Central, is a 2006 North graduate.

"At the moment, the biggest issue is that we only have three girls," Starkey said. "We've had some players with some low rounds. I think we can be competitive."

Senior Ana Borish and junior Ellyn Briggs are back after shooting 85 and 88, respectively, to help the Warhawks finish third (348) in the Mentel Memorial sectional.

Central finished eighth (389) in the nine-team district tournament as the top two teams advanced to state. Borish shot 92 and Briggs 104 at district.

The Warhawks' only other district appearance came in 2005.

The only other player in the program heading into the season was freshman Kelly Linnabary.

SCHEDULES

CENTRAL

Aug. 6 -- OCC-Capital at Mentel Memorial

Aug. 8 -- Panther Invitational at Turnberry

Aug. 11 -- Early Birdie Invitational at Champions

Aug. 12 -- OCC-Capital at The Links at Groveport

Aug. 14 -- Hilliard Bradley at Rolling Meadows

Aug. 18 -- DeSales at Champions

Aug. 21 -- Westerville North at Royal American

Aug. 26 -- OCC-Capital at Westchester

Aug. 28 -- Olentangy Liberty at Oakhaven

Sept. 2 -- DeSales at Royal American

Sept. 4 -- Hilliard Bradley at Royal American

Sept. 9 -- OCC-Capital at Royal American

Sept. 11 -- Westerville South at Royal American

Sept. 15 -- Hilliard Davidson and Westerville North at Buck Ridge

Sept. 17 -- Westerville North at Royal American

Sept. 22 -- Hilliard Davidson at Royal American

Sept. 23 -- Westerville Classic at Rattlesnake Ridge

Sept. 25 -- Grove City and Westerville North at Royal American

Sept. 27 -- Marysville at Darby Creek

NORTH

Aug. 6 -- OCC-Capital at Mentel Memorial

Aug. 8 -- Olentangy Classic at Oakhaven

Aug. 12 -- OCC-Capital at The Links at Groveport

Aug. 18 -- Olentangy at Royal American

Aug. 19 -- Hilliard Bradley at Rolling Meadows

Aug. 21 -- Westerville Central at Royal American

Aug. 26 -- OCC-Capital at Westchester

Sept. 4 -- Grove City at Phoenix

Sept. 9 -- OCC-Capital at Royal American

Sept. 11 -- Olentangy at Oakhaven

Sept. 15 -- Hilliard Davidson and Westerville Central at Buck Ridge

Sept. 17 -- Westerville Central at Royal American

Sept. 18 -- Hilliard Bradley at Royal American

Sept. 23 -- Westerville Classic at Rattlesnake Ridge

Sept. 25 -- Grove City and Westerville Central at Royal American

SOUTH

Aug. 6 -- OCC-Capital at Mentel Memorial

Aug. 7 -- Grove City at Phoenix

Aug. 8 -- Olentangy Classic at Oakhaven

Aug. 11 -- Early Birdie Invitational at Champions

Aug. 12 -- OCC-Capital at The Links at Groveport

Aug. 14 -- Thomas Worthington at Royal American

Aug. 21 -- Hilliard Davidson and Olentangy Orange at Buck Ridge

Aug. 28 -- Hilliard Bradley at Royal American

Sept. 2 -- Thomas Worthington at York

Sept. 4 -- Hilliard Darby and Lancaster at Royal American

Sept. 9 -- OCC-Capital at Royal American

Sept. 11 -- Westerville Central at Royal American

Sept. 16 -- Grove City and Dublin Scioto at Medallion

Sept. 18 -- Hilliard Davidson at Royal American

Sept. 22 -- Hilliard Bradley and Pickerington Central at Rolling Meadows

Sept. 23 -- Westerville Classic at Rattlesnake Ridge

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