SVSJ preview: MSHS, CHS both aiming for league titles as girls’ golf scene locally the strongest its ever been

EDITOR’S NOTE: We’re just about done with our spring sports previews. We feature a look at girls’ golf today and will wrap it up later this week with a peek at MSHS track and field.

The Snoqualmie Valley’s high school girls’ golf scene is as good as it’s probably ever been, and it’s expected to remain that way this spring as both Mount Si and Cedarcrest High School’s teams are slated to contend for their respective league titles.

Mount Si’s ladies went a strong 6-1 in Kingco 4A last spring, 7-2 overall, and with several golfers back this season, all seniors, the Wildcats look as if they’ll be contending once again for a Kingco 4A championship.

Steve Botulinski is back for his fourth season as the team’s head coach, and the squad, as noted, did very well last season, with top returner Kat Hodgson making state. The senior finished 13th at the 4A tournament in 2017 and aims to do even better this year. “I’d like to win state. I’m going to do all I can to get there, but we’ll see how it goes,” Hodgson said. Co-captain Emma Fougere also returns, and Hodgson’s fellow Class of 2018 mate has more modest goals in mind for herself. “I don’t think I’ll make it to state, but I’m hoping districts again,” she said. Fougere made the SeaKing tournament last season, but with solid play, could sneak into a state slot.

The remainder of the senior group consists of Ellie Miller, Dana Kenow, Allie Murphy, Lexi Rose, Lindsay Silverman, and two newcomers, both of whom should see most of their play on the program’s junior varsity squad, Madison Corgiat and Caitlin Hearn. Even though those two probably won’t see a lot of varsity action at all this spring, Hodgson hopes to involve them in things as much as the varsity team. “We want to try to integrate everybody evenly and try to make sure it’s not unfair at all,” she said, noting that the team is very unified as one. “This is a very close-knit team,” Hodgson said.

For Fougere, having success requires focus. “It’s really a mind game. If you’re head’s not in it, then you’re not going to have a good hole,” she said.

Botulinski likes the intangible elements in his two co-captains. “I think they’re going to do a really good job. They’re a good balance for each other as far as seriousness on the course and off and responsibility in both those things too,” the coach said.

Eastlake, Issaquah and Newport were unanimous selections by the two golfers and Botulinski when asked by the Journal about which teams the Wildcats will have to outlast within Kingco this season.

The two both have college plans afoot – Hodgson will head north of the border and be playing college golf next season for the University of Victoria in British Columbia, Canada, and Fougere will stay stateside, playing intramural golf for WSU. Hodgson is unsure of what she will be majoring in, but Fougere told us she’ll be studying criminology.

As for Cedarecrest, they, too, had a strong season last spring, going 4-1 in Cascade Conference play and 5-1 overall. That is expected, too, to continue in 2018, as senior leadership, combined with strong young talent, should see the Red Wolves once again contend for the league title.

David McLaughlin returns as head coach for his 13th season at the helm of the Red Wolves. Leading the group will be senior Casey Spurr. She has made state in all of her years as a high school golfer – three – and comes back after finishing as the runner-up in the Cascade Conference tournament. “Definitely one of the golfers to watch in (the Northwest District),” McLaughlin said, adding, “Possibly the most driven golfer to ever come through the program.”

Fellow senior Kaleigh Carroll will aim for more success this spring, off a second-team all-conference nod last spring. She and senior teammate Katelyn Sayamoungbo both will look to, according to McLaighlin, provide strong support for Spurr and her efforts this spring. “(Kaleigh and Katelyn are) two seniors that have been great contributors to the program and will now get their turn to shine leading the varsity team,” McLaughlin told us by email.

McLaughlin expects South Whidbey to be CHS’ chief competition this spring, but expects his group to be right there in the end. “Like most years, we will be looking to compete for the team title. Casey Spurr will be working toward an individual title. While all teams will provide great competition, South Whidbey is still the team to beat returning their top golfer from a 1A state championship season,” he said.

With the school’s impending move to the Wesco Conference this fall as a result of the Cascade’s dissolution at the end of this school year, how the program develops the younger players this season will be with this in mind, according to the coach. “With a lot of youth on our current roster, we will be looking to develop that talent so that we may continue to be competitive no matter what conference we are in. Wesco will definitely provide a busier schedule along with new courses and new competition opportunities,” McLaughlin said.

Regardless of the end result, the coach hopes his golfers will continue to enjoy this sport long after their time in the program ends. “Many of our golfers come into the program having never golfed a full round before, let alone competitively. Through four years of work, we try to help golfers become championship golfers,” he said.

CHS opens its season today at home against former Cascade rival Lakewood, then is on the road for over a month. Their next home meet after today will not be until April 26, and it shapes up to be a doozy – against the Falcons. In the meantime, they’ll play a pair of April tournaments east of the Cascades and also face league rivals Sultan, Cedar Park Christian and Archbishop Murphy on the road. Home matches are at Blue Heron Golf Club in Carnation, and tee off at 3:00 p.m. As for Mount Si, the season opens Friday over in Wenatchee at a tournament hosted by Wenatchee High School, and their first home meet is against the Knights on March 22. Both the Red Wolves and Wildcats will compete in the Suncadia tournament on April 23 in Cle Elum. Home MSHS matches are at Mount Si Golf Course in Snoqualmie and tee off at 3:15 p.m.

Rhett Workman

About Rhett Workman

Rhett Workman is the editor of the Snoqualmie Valley Sports Journal. Workman is a veteran sports journalist, having covered Snoqualmie Valley sports for nearly a decade with the Snoqualmie Valley Record newspaper before starting up the SVSJ. Workman's coverage has earned the support and respect of Valley coaches, players, parents and fans, and the SVSJ continues the standard of coverage that Workman brought to the Valley Record.
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