Interest in girls golf is continuing to grow at Hartley High School.
Salmika Wairegi, a 2016 graduate, was a two-time district qualifier but participated for the boys team because the school didn’t officially add a girls team until last fall.
Three of the four competitors from the inaugural team have returned, and there also are two others who are competing under first-year coach Kerry Ford.
“We’ve got high expectations,” Ford said. “I sort of came in late and wanted to get in as many matches as I could, so we’ve got a tough schedule. Our home course is Jefferson, so I scheduled as many as I could there.”
Ford, a St. Charles graduate who played for the University of Toledo from 1983-87, takes over for John Casson, who headed the program a season ago when his daughter, McKenna Casson, was the only senior on a four-member team.
Returning from the team that finished sixth at the Division I sectional at Mentel Memorial are senior Kennedy Knuth and sophomores Caroline Berger and Nicole Deline.
Deline shot an 84 at sectional but missed advancing to district by one stroke. Knight shot 94 and Berger 101 at sectional.
New to the team are senior Josie Tiberi and freshman Nicola Eramo.
Hartley, which opened Aug. 14 against Ready at Turnberry, will compete in a league format for the first time this fall.
Because Watterson and DeSales join Ready and Hartley as programs with girls golf, the CCL held a preseason tournament Aug. 15 and will have a postseason event Oct. 6 at NorthStar.
“We’re going to be pretty solid,” Ford said. “I’ve had some opportunities to see the girls practice, and we’ve got a good corps of talent. Nicola has been working with a local pro for a while. Nicole is going to be a heck of a player.”
Tipton leads veteran boys golf team
Two-time first-team all-state honoree Trent Tipton returns for his senior season to lead the boys golf team.
Tipton was the district’s only individual Division II state qualifier last season after winning a sectional championship with a 68 at Oakhaven and finishing first at district with a 71 at Denison Golf Club. He then placed third at state with a two-round score of 144. He has committed to West Virginia.
“I actually didn’t let him try out,” fifth-year coach David Liskowiak said. “I gave him the option of trying out last year and he showed up kind of tired and struggled in the first half of the season. He actually played a more relaxed summer schedule (this summer). He didn’t have anything to prove to college coaches, so we’re hoping he’s ready mentally for the golf season.”
Hartley opened Aug. 6 by placing seventh (335) of 11 teams in the Columbus Academy Shootout at Columbus Country Club, behind champion Kettering Alter (308). Tipton was second with a 69.
Junior Andrew Inthavongsone and seniors Thomas Mayhan and Jack Shisler also are returnees from last season, when the Hawks went 3-3 in the CCL to tie Watterson for second behind St. Charles (6-0).
The CCL preseason tournament was held Aug. 15 at Darby Creek and the postseason event is Sept. 23 at Apple Valley.
Freshman Drew Navarro finished fifth during tryouts behind the four returnees. Sophomore Dominic Rees rounds out the roster for the Hawks, who also have six competitors on junior varsity.
“Both Andrew and Jack played and practiced a lot over the summer, and both have come back better golfers,” Liskowiak said. “Jack especially stepped up his game and put in the work. … Our goal is to get better every single day, even by an incremental margin.”
Tennis team to build with young roster
There are no seniors on this year’s girls tennis team after it lost eight to graduation, including six who were contributors a season ago.
Hartley, which opens Monday, Aug. 20, at Teays Valley, returns five players who contributed last season and has added four others who 21st-year coach Lynn Winters expects to see action.
“We’ve got no seniors, so it will be a good rebuilding year for us,” said Winters, who completed her first season as the women’s tennis coach at Capital University last spring. “Luckily, we’ve got a few who have a little bit of court time. It should be a good year. We’ll be competitive.”
Returning to lead the way are juniors Elyse Amorati, Laurynn-Renee Caldwell and Leah Herbert and sophomores Gia Green and Morgan Liden.
Junior Caroline Shoemaker and sophomore Maria Kelley also should be key contributors.
Junior Lauren McFann and sophomore Maggie Agra are newcomers looking for playing time.
Green, who played first singles most of last season, reached the quarterfinal round of the Division II sectional at Columbus School for Girls, while Caldwell lost in the second round at sectional.
Caldwell’s sister, Londynn-Rae Caldwell, was part of a 2018 graduating class that also featured the doubles team of Hannah McFeeters and Abby Thompson, which lost in a sectional quarterfinal and went 12-5 last season.
Hartley finished 7-10 overall a year ago and went 1-3 in the CCL to place fourth behind champion CSG (4-0).
“We lost six seniors (from varsity) and had a total of eight on the team, so we were pretty heavily matched with seniors last year,” Winters said. “We’ve got a lot of new faces this year, which is exciting. The girls are playing really hard and want to learn the game and be competitive.”
Aug. 6 – Columbus Academy Shootout at Columbus Country Club
Aug. 9 – Nesselroad Invitational at Oakhaven
Aug. 10 – Bloom-Carroll Invitational at Pine Hill
Aug. 11 – Fairfield Federal Invitational at Turnberry
Aug. 14 – Warrior-Jaguar Invitational at NorthStar
Aug. 15 – CCL preseason tournament at Darby Creek
Aug. 25 – Upper Arlington Classic at Pinnacle
Aug. 29 – Watterson at TBA
Sept. 1 – Bexley Invitational at Westchester
Sept. 4 – Bexley at Westchester
Sept. 8 – Worthington Christian Invitational at Turnberry
Sept. 15 – Rodney Butt Classic at Denison Golf Club
Sept. 20 – DeSales at Champions
Sept. 22 – Watterson Invitational at Clover Valley
Sept. 23 – CCL postseason tournament at Apple Valley
Aug. 14 – Ready at Turnberry
Aug. 15 – CCL preseason tournament at NorthStar
Aug. 20 – Columbus School for Girls at Blacklick Woods
Aug. 29 – Bexley at Blacklick Woods
Sept. 4 – DeSales at NorthStar
Sept. 5 – Big Walnut and Pickerington Central at Turnberry
Sept. 8 – Eagle-Panther Invitational at Cooks Creek
Sept. 11 – Bexley at Jefferson
Sept. 12 – Licking Heights at Jefferson
Sept. 15 – Bloom-Carroll Invitational at Pine Hill
Sept. 17 – Columbus School for Girls at Blacklick Woods
Sept. 27 – DeSales at New Albany Links
Oct. 6 – CCL postseason tournament at NorthStar
Aug. 20 – at Teays Valley
Aug. 22 – vs. Thomas Worthington
Aug. 23 – at Grandview
*Aug. 28 – vs. Columbus School for Girls
*Sept. 4 – at DeSales
Sept. 5 – vs. Whitehall
Sept. 6 – at Whetstone
Sept. 8 – Thomas Worthington Invitational
Sept. 10 – vs. Delaware
*Sept. 13 – at Ready
Sept. 15 – Wellington Cup
*Sept. 18 – vs. Watterson
Sept. 19 – vs. Olentangy Berlin
Sept. 20 – vs. Marion-Franklin
Sept. 24 – vs. Wellington
Sept. 26 – at Westerville Central
Sept. 27 – at Grove City
Oct. 1 – at Worthington Christian
Oct. 3 – at Village Academy
Below is the coming schedule for the Hartley cross country, field hockey, boys soccer and girls soccer teams:
Aug. 18 – OHSAA Preseason Invitational at National Trail Raceway
Aug. 18 – At Dublin Jerome
*Aug. 20 – Home vs. Watterson
Aug. 23 – Home vs. Hamilton Township
Aug. 21 – At Olentangy Berlin