SVSJ preview: Valley high school girls golf, if the ladies get to tee off, expected to be solid this spring

EDITOR’S NOTE: As we note below, there’s no games going on at the moment, but as we mentioned earlier, several coaches of spring sports teams at Mount Si and Cedarcrest High Schools have sent back their preseason questionnaires to us. So as a service to you and also as a thank-you to those coaches and programs for taking time out of what has been a very chaotic last couple of weeks for everyone around the region, we will feature some previews for you over the next few days. Today, we start with girls’ golf and tomorrow, we hit the diamond for some baseball. We will have some additional Mount Si-centric previews as well, but we want to let all coaches who have not sent their stuff back that they are welcome to send their questionnaires back at any time, no questions asked and we will prep a preview for your team and run it here at the SVSJ.

As with all high school spring sports around the state, the 2020 season is on hold at the moment due to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak and the order by Washington state Governor Jay Inslee to close all schools statewide in an effort to promote “social distancing” which is aimed to prevent rapid spread of the disease. That all said, if the spring season does get underway after this closure order expires April 24, Valley high school golf fans will have plenty of good golf to cheer for, as both Cedarcrest and Mount Si High School’s girls’ golf programs look to be contenders in their respective conference races this season. Here’s a look at both teams.

Cedarcrest: The Red Wolves this season have a relatively experienced group, with four seniors who it is hoped will be able to tee it off at some point this spring. David McLaughlin is back as coach for his 16th year at the school, and his three seniors all aim for postseason glory. CHS last season finished 3-6, but the expectation this spring is for better results provided they can hit the links and show it.

They are led by Hannah Svedberg, who looks to build off a strong junior season last spring. “(Hannah) dramatically improved (last season) to make day one cut at districts, (and is) looking for same improvement this year,” McLaughlin told us. Also part of the senior group this year are fellow returners Olivia Hansen and Melissa Hunt, and newcomer Sophia Harrington. McLaughlin believes Harrington, despite not having been part of the team in the past, could still be a key piece of the puzzle. “(Harrington) may be a great fill in for when we need someone to step to varsity for a match or two,” the coach told us.

Sophomores Maise Walker and Kelli Bergquist are also back, and freshman Charlotte Griffin is also a newcomer to watch this spring.

As for the team in general, McLaughlin expects the group, once they are able to tee off, to be a contender. “(We) should have a very strong team this year with three great returning four-year seniors as well as some great talent at the younger levels. We also have a good young start of a future team with eight freshmen out this year. We hope to be able to make a run at the Wesco South Championship and have Cedarcrest represented well at district and at state,” the coach told us.

McLaughlin expects Meadowdale to be the team to watch in the Wesco South once things get back up and running at the end of April but, he cautions, “we are returning almost our entire varsity this year with Maise Walker who last year was the best ranked freshman in the league, and have a freshman this year that will be in the running for that again. Seeing such strong competition also prepares us well for what we will see when we travel north for our 2A District tournaments. District 1 (Northwest District) is arguably the strongest 2A girls golf tournament and has been for many, many years.”

It is anticipated if the season is able to resume that perhaps two-three matches will be able to take place before postseason competition. It will not be known until later if any matches will be played at Cedarcrest’s home course, Blue Heron GC in Carnation.

Mount Si: The Wildcats last spring finished 7-3 and made state, taking eighth overall in what was perhaps the most memorable girls’ golf season in recent years. Leading that charge last spring is this season’s top returner, sophomore Kasey Maralack, who aims, again if she can get out on the course this spring, to become one of the top golfers around the state at the high school level. Seniors Tori Berger and Erika Groshell, both of whom also were part of last season’s state team, return, too, and they are joined by fellow senior Kaari Peterson, who appears to be the top newcomer this spring.

Steve Botulinski is back coaching for his sixth season at the helm, and is ready to get things going whenever they are told to get it going. “We have a young, but experienced team back this season and I am hopeful that we can build on the experiences of last season to compete in every match. Redmond finished first in the state last year and Issaquah finished third, plus Eastlake and Newport always field competitive teams, so we will have our work cut out for us no doubt,” Botulinski told us.

As Botulinski indicated, Redmond, Eastlake, Issaquah and Newport look to be league contenders, but also keep an eye on Skyline this spring.

Again, as with Cedarcrest, if the season is allowed to resume at the end of April, it is expected that two-three matches will be able to take place before the postseason begins, and it will be announced later if any of those matches will take place at Mount Si’s home course, Mount Si Golf Course in Snoqualmie. However, other matches are likely to take place at Snoqualmie Falls Golf Course in Fall City as that has been Issaquah’s home course in past seasons, so there will be ample opportunity for local golf fans to get out and support high school girls’ golf this spring if that occurs.

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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