The Worthington Kilbourne High School girls golf team must adapt to several changes this season.
The Wolves not only have a new coach, but they also are competing in a new league and will do so without their top player from a year ago in 2017 graduate Ashley Flynn, a Division I state qualifier as a junior who fell one stroke shy of competing in a playoff for a state berth last season in the district tournament.
Kelly Kuhlman, a golf professional at Tartan Fields, has taken over as coach, replacing Kevin Nourse, who coached the Wolves for one season.
"I was born in Cleveland, moved to Wisconsin when I was 10 and played for Methodist University, a Division III school in Fayetteville, North Carolina," Kuhlman said. "I moved to Michigan in 2005 and spent seven years coaching two different high schools. I moved here this spring with my husband, Erich, who became the head pro at Tartan Fields."
Kuhlman played in U.S. Women's Open local and sectional qualifiers in 2006 and 2009 and has over 15 years of coaching experience. She is a Class-A PGA pro and a certified U.S. Kids Golf coach.
"My philosophy is based upon a simplistic golf swing that is repeatable and can adapt with each individual," Kuhlman said. "I'm excited about this opportunity and hope to help the girls improve and continue to love the game."
Returning after competing in the sectional at Mentel Memorial last year are seniors Madalyn Hopkins and Emily Loy and junior Trixie Abbott. They joined Flynn and 2017 graduate Audrey Wachtel to place fourth (370) at sectional and finish second (22-6) in the four-round OCC-Capital Division behind champion Dublin Coffman (28-0).
"I think Trixie will be one of our key players," Kuhlman said. "She played junior events in the Columbus area and has looked good. I think she'll transition right into the high school season.
"Madalyn is our captain and has great potential. She's been working on her game with her swing coach and Emily was a first-year player last year and has really improved her scores. She's working hard, but needs to add some course management."
Also back from last year is junior Jenna Mains, while senior Brea Galvin and freshman Hannah Kramer complete the roster.
"I guess Brea played up until age 11, but got away from the game and is just coming back to it after getting injured playing basketball," Kuhlman said. "She's trying to get back into rhythm and just needs repetitions and more exposure to the game."
Last season, Flynn was co-medalist at sectional with a 71, shot an 80 at district at The Links at Groveport and shared OCC-Capital Player of the Year honors with Coffman's Liz Kim.
The Wolves are competing in the OCC-Cardinal this year and shot a 414 in the first round of the league tournament Aug. 9 at Westchester to finish fourth behind Dublin Jerome (303), Delaware (388) and Hilliard Bradley (396) and ahead of Dublin Scioto (458) and Thomas (547). Hilliard Darby did not have a team score.
Hopkins led Kilbourne with an 89 and Abbott carded a 91.
The second round was Aug. 15 at Mentel Memorial.
Boys golf squad
has strong nucleus
The boys golf team returned three of its top performers from last season, including junior John Catanzarite, who was a Division I district qualifier.
Also back are juniors Carson Dougherty and Evan Fisher, who were in the postseason lineup, as well as senior Brandon Sloma and sophomores Michael Flynn and Garrett Meeks.
Catanzarite shot an 83 in the district tournament at Apple Valley last year after carding a 78 in the sectional at Darby Creek.
"We have a strong nucleus in Catanzarite, Dougherty and Fisher," said 13th-year coach Gavin Meeks, Garrett's father. "(Garrett) also saw a lot of varsity action last season and Flynn is a consistent ball striker and a very solid putter."
Completing the roster is freshman Mark Towns.
"This squad has a great deal of potential and is one of best groups of young men I have ever coached," coach Meeks said. "John is hitting the ball very well and has an excellent chance to get back to district and maybe move on to the state tournament. He has great length and is a very consistent player. He is going to provide the leadership we need to improve this season."
The Wolves opened Aug. 4 by shooting a 335 in the Thomas Preview at Delaware Golf Club to place 11th of 15 teams, behind champion Olentangy (303). Catanzarite led the team with a 78, followed by Fisher and Meeks (both 85), Flynn (87) and Dougherty (92).
Kilbourne shot a 339 in the first round of the OCC-Cardinal tournament Aug. 8 at Turnberry to place fourth, behind Jerome (294), Thomas (312) and Scioto (331) and ahead of Bradley (345), Darby (357) and Delaware (378).
Catanzarite led the Wolves with an 82, followed by Meeks (83), Fisher (85), Dougherty (89) and Flynn (89).
In the second round Aug. 14 at Apple Valley, the Wolves shot a 338 to place fourth behind first-place Jerome (295) as Fisher carded a 79.
Kilbourne went 7-17 in the four-round OCC-Cardinal tournament last season to place fifth behind champion Jerome (24-0).
Girls tennis team
is work in progress
The girls tennis team will be a work in progress this season, as fourth-year coach Steve Metzmaier makes decisions about how to utilize his roster.
"I'm trying to determine if we should maximize our efforts to be more competitive in doubles, but it's something I'm definitely looking at right now," Metzmaier said during tryouts. "We're a little inexperienced as a whole."
The Wolves, who opened Aug. 11 against Whetstone, lost their top two singles players in 2017 graduates Hannah Kerns and Lauryn Thomas following a season in which they finished 1-14 overall and 0-6 in the OCC-Cardinal. Overall, Kilbourne lost three starters to graduation and another who did not return.
Sophomore Hannah Lindaman, who played third singles last season, is moving to No. 1.
"Hannah is a tall girl who has put in her work and she's one of our most consistent hitters," said Metzmaier, whose team did not have any Division I district qualifiers last season. "She's a battler who was in a lot of tight matches last year and has a great will to win. But moving to first singles as a sophomore in the OCC where you face some of the best in the district will be a challenge for her.
"She's going to have her hands full, but hopefully she will handle it and learn from it while also improving her game."
Junior Chloe Howard and sophomore Libby Costello also return after competing in the postseason last year. Also back are seniors Rose Hampshire and Alysia Sanchez.
Newcomers are senior Kate Worster, junior Lauren Lemmon and freshman Rhea Taneja.
"I think all eight will play, but in terms of where, it's still up in the air," said Metzmaier, whose team opens league play Thursday, Aug. 17, at home against defending champion Jerome. "Right now, I think Chloe will be at singles with Hannah, but that's really all I know."
Aug. 4 -- Thomas Preview Invitational at Delaware Golf Club
Aug. 7 -- Pickerington Central Invitational at Turnberry
Aug. 8 -- OCC-Cardinal at Turnberry
Aug. 9 -- Warhawk Invitational at Rattlesnake Ridge
Aug. 10 -- Upper Arlington at Darby Creek
Aug. 11 -- Mount Vernon Invitational at Chapel Hill
Aug. 12 -- Steve Youmans Classic at Oakhaven
Aug. 14 -- OCC-Cardinal at Apple Valley
Aug. 15 -- Dublin Invitational at Golf Club of Dublin
Aug. 19 -- Kent Miller Invitational at Hiawatha
Aug. 30 -- OCC-Cardinal at Darby Creek
Sept. 2 -- Pickerington North Invitational at Pine Hill
Sept. 5 -- Lancaster Invitational at Lancaster Country Club
Sept. 9 -- St. Charles Invitational at Brookside
Sept. 11 -- Steve Godvin Invitational at Zanesville Country Club
Sept. 13 -- OCC-Cardinal at Clover Valley
Sept. 16 -- Howlett Invitational at Worthington Hills
Sept. 21 -- Gahanna at Little Turtle
Sept. 23 -- Pickerington Central Invitational at Turnberry
Sept. 25 -- OCC Shootout at Moundbuilders
Sept. 27 -- Worthington Cup at Worthington Hills
Aug. 4 -- Panther Invitational at Turnberry
Aug. 7 -- Gahanna Invitational at Jefferson Country Club
Aug. 9 -- OCC-Cardinal at Westchester
Aug. 15 -- OCC-Cardinal at Mentel Memorial
Aug. 28 -- Big Walnut at Tartan Fields
Aug. 29 -- OCC-Cardinal at Royal American
Aug. 31 -- Licking Valley at Virtues
Sept. 6 -- Dublin Scioto at Buck Ridge
Sept. 12 -- OCC-Cardinal at Cooks Creek
Sept. 14 -- Licking Valley at Worthington Hills
Sept. 19 -- Big Walnut at Bent Tree
Sept. 21- Thomas at Tartan Fields
Sept. 23 -- Monarch Invitational at Darby Creek
Sept. 25 -- Dublin Scioto at Tartan Fields
Sept. 26 -- Thomas and Dublin Scioto at Mentel Memorial
Sept. 28 -- Gahanna at Worthington Hills
Aug. 11 -- vs. Whetstone
Aug. 15 -- at DeSales
Aug. 16 -- at Gahanna
*Aug. 17 -- vs. Dublin Jerome
*Aug. 22 -- at Hilliard Darby
*Aug. 24 -- at Hilliard Bradley
*Aug. 29 -- vs. Dublin Scioto
Aug. 30 -- at Whetstone
*Aug. 31 -- vs. Delaware
Sept. 5 -- at Granville
*Sept. 7 -- vs. Thomas
Sept. 12 -- at Pickerington Central
Sept. 14 -- at Grove City
Sept. 16 -- Wellington Cup
Sept. 19 -- at Hilliard Davidson B
Sept. 20 -- at Upper Arlington B
Sept. 23 -- Kim Shepherd Doubles Classic at Hilliard Davidson
Sept. 25 -- at Grandview
Oct. 2 -- at Ready
Oct. 3 -- vs. DeSales
Below are the coming schedules for the Kilbourne field hockey, boys soccer, girls soccer, girls volleyball, boys water polo and girls water polo teams:
Aug. 23 -- At New Albany
Aug. 22 -- At Pickerington North
Aug. 22 -- At Westerville North
Aug. 19 -- At Hartley
*Aug. 22 -- Home vs. Dublin Jerome
BOYS WATER POLO
Aug. 18-19 -- Early Bird Invitational at Ann Arbor (Michigan) Huron
GIRLS WATER POLO
Aug. 18-19 -- Upper Arlington Invitational