Logansport’s girls golf team enters the 2012 season having lost the area’s top golfer of the last three years, Amy Worthington, to graduation.
Worthington was a three-time regional qualifier and an All-North Central Conference golfer last season. She will golf this fall at Trine University.
Filling her shoes in the No. 1 role is senior Kait Wickersham, who had a good finish to last season and put in a lot of work this summer, according to Logan coach Bob Bannon.
Wickersham opened the season with a team-best 88 at the Lafayette Jeff Invitational Tuesday at Battle Ground Golf Course. The Berries shot a 434 to finish 17th out of 19 teams.
Wickersham will have a shot at getting out of the sectional for the first time in her career this fall.
“She’s improved a lot,” Bannon said.
The Logan coach said Wickersham’s round of 88 Tuesday was “remarkable” considering the rocky start she got off to on both the front and back nine. Bannon said Wickersham started her round on the par-5 12th hole and made a quadruple-bogey nine. She followed with a bogey on 13 but shot 2-over the rest of the back nine.
She had a similar start on the front nine, opening with a double bogey, triple bogey and double bogey before shooting a 2-over the last six holes.
Also for Logan at Battle Ground, Alli Biggs shot a 97, Bree Bair carded a 117, Megan Farris came in with a 132 and Haley Lopez posted a 137.
Bannon said that despite the loss of Worthington, the Berries can possibly shoot similar numbers to last season and perhaps even better. Logan finished third at the NCC meet and sixth at the Western Sectional a year ago.
“I don’t have a No. 1 who will shoot 80 or 82, but Wickersham can shoot low 80s if she eliminates the big number,” he said. “We lose 10 shots off the bat right there, but Alli is better than she was last year and Bree will end up better than she was last year. ... Alli is capable of playing bogey golf, 90, 92. If we can get one around 100 and someone break 120, we’re not going to scare anybody but at least we’ll be competitive with a lot of teams.
“We can break 400 pretty simply, I think, once we get going. Last year I didn’t know we could until the end. We’ll see.”
The Logan coach is also encouraged by the numbers out for the team this year, particularly in the younger classes. The squad consists of 11 girls — one senior, two juniors, three sophomores and five freshmen.
“We haven’t had 11 kids on the golf team in years here. We’re usually lucky to have six or seven,” Bannon said. “And I have three eighth graders playing this year, and one eighth grader who could play varsity.”
Bannon added competition for varsity spots should help the team going forward.
“Competition pushes you to get better. That’s what you’ve got to have,” he said. “Most of them are just beginning golfers, but they’re pretty serious about it. It’ll take some time. ... Being freshmen and sophomores gives you time to teach them, and in a couple years they can contribute big time their junior and senior years. We’re getting there.”
Logan plays in the Kokomo Invite today at Chippendale Golf Club and in the McCutcheon Invite Thursday at The Ravines Golf Course.