EDITOR’S NOTE: We continue our spring sports preview series this morning by focusing on our first Cedarcrest High School spring team – girls’ golf.
Cedarcrest High School’s girls’ golf team looks to contend in the Cascade Conference this spring, and they will have a lot of experience to draw from in 2014.
Longtime coach David McLaughlin is back for his 10th season, and his team has a couple of top returners this spring. Senior Caitlin Brenner and junior Amanda Fairbanks both made state last year, and the two of them, according to McLaughlin, could be among several top conference golfers battling it out this season for the individual league championship.
Last season saw the Red Wolves go 2-8 overall, but McLaughlin likes his team’s chances this spring. “If we avoid illness and injury, we should be looking to challenge King’s and South Whidbey for the team title,” McLaughlin wrote in an email to the SVSJ. “Both of those schools had great seasons last year. Our advantage is that we did not have any seniors last year.” Among the other seniors McLaughlin looks to have out this spring include Ericka Stickles, who has provided strong contributions throughout her high school career, and Kendall Berens, who many CHS fans may know from her time with the Red Wolves’ volleyball team. According to McLaughlin, Berens will be the second of three sisters from that family who have been a part of the CHS golf program.
Also expected to be a top returner is junior Annabelle LaBate. According to McLaughlin, she finished in the top 10 last spring in stroke average among all Cascade golfers despite missing most of the season. If LaBate can stay healthy, she could potentially also be in the discussion later on in the season regarding the individual league championship.
McLaughlin sees his program as much an instructional one as it is competitive. “We want girls to learn the game of golf and be able to play well enough to enjoy it for the rest of their life,” the coach said. “Many of our girls that start in our program have no golf experience prior to picking up a club their first practice. Our goal is to help them improve over the course of four years and be a state level golfer when they graduate.”
He is also looking for big things from his team. “This year, our goal is to win the Cascade Conference team title, to send at least three girls to state and get a placing at state for only the second time in school history,” McLaughlin said.
Their season starts on March 21 with the first of two meetings to start the season against the other contenders for the Cascade title. The Red Wolves will meet King’s at Jackson Park Golf Course, then on March 25, will open the season at home at Blue Heron (formerly Carnation) Golf Course against South Whidbey. CHS will meet both opponents again later in the season, with King’s at home April 16 followed by a road date at South Whidbey April 18 to be played at Useless Bay Golf Course on Whidbey Island.
All league contests start at 3:00 p.m, with CHS’ home contests as previously noted being at Blue Heron Golf Course.