Logansport girls golf coach Bob Bannon was content with his squad’s season-opening round Tuesday at Battle Ground Golf Club. He knows better days are ahead.
The Berries shot a 433 to finish 18th out of 20 teams at the Lafayette Jeff Booster Invitational.
“We’re a work in progress, but towards the end of the season we’ll be a whole lot better than that,” Bannon said.
A bright spot for Logansport was the play of freshman Kristina Kniesly, who shot a 93 in her Berry debut.
“That’s not bad and that was an easy 93, could have been in the 80s real easily,” Bannon said. “She missed a couple putts that you and I can make. That’s not bad for a first time out.”
The Berries also played the match without senior leader Alli Biggs because she missed practice last week due to a vacation in Florida. Bannon said Biggs will be eligible to play at today’s Kokomo Invite at Chippendale G.C.
“She can shoot in the 40s both sides,” Bannon said.
Junior Haley Lopez shot a 109 on Tuesday for the Berries. Bannon said she could have broke 100 if not for three bad holes on the day.
Junior Bree Bair and sophomore Megan Farris shot a 114 and 117, respectively. Bannon noted they both played better on the front nine (53 and 54) than they did on the back (61 and 63).
Sophomore Savannah Willis closed out the Berries’ scorecard with a 137. Bannon said that it was the first time she had ever played 18 holes and that Biggs is set to replace her in the varsity lineup today.
But overall the Logan coach is pleased with the numbers that are out for the team this year.
“I had a couple girls not come out this year that are trying other sports. I graduated one, but I’ve got 16 girls on the team, eight of which are beginners and eight of which have played,” he said. “Our numbers are up, I’m getting more participation, I’m building competition for spots and these scores that we had today are not indicative of what we can do. But it was the first time out on a hard course.”
The Berries have two golfers currently playing college golf. Kait Wickersham, last year’s No. 1 player, is walking on for IUPUI’s program. And 2012 grad Amy Worthington won medalist honors four times as a freshman last season at Trine.
Bannon is hoping this year’s team can keep pace with the last couple seasons.
“We would like to duplicate our finish in the conference [third place]. We’d like to finish in the top three in the sectional just like everybody says. We’d like to win more dual matches than we have in the past,” he said. “But what I’m doing right now is I’m putting all the energy daily improvement.”
This season the Berries have 10 dual meets, six away and four at home, and four invitationals including today’s match at Chippendale, which again hosts the sectional this year.
The Berries placed seventh at the sectional last year and were paced by Wickersham (90) and Biggs (94).
Ranked teams on the schedule this year include No. 7 Lafayette Jeff, No. 8 Marion and No. 12 Rochester.
No. 6 Zionsville won the Jeff Invite with a 297 on Tuesday. No. 3 Valparaiso was second (315) and Jeff was third (328). Valparaiso’s Harley Dubsky shot a 68 to earn medalist honors. Twin Lakes shot a 368 to place ninth and was led by Taylor Russell’s 76, which tied for fifth among individuals.
Beau Wicker is the sports editor of the Pharos-Tribune. He can be reached at 574-732-5113 or firstname.lastname@example.org.