Golf teams bring back experience

The Oak Harbor girls golf team took a tough blow earlier in the week when last year’s lone state competitor, Lauren Acton, opted not to continue through her senior year and shift her focus to cheerleading.

“I’m sad that Lauren is not going to join us this year,” OHHS head coach Andy Wesley said. “The team was really depending on her leadership and points to help them out this year. 

Her fist love was always cheerleading, so I can’t be upset  with her wanting to pursue that avenue and take it to the next level at college.”

The Wildcats will bring back six golfers from last year, including one senior in Chelsea Gronbach.

Gronbach was the only other Wildcat golfer beside Acton to make it to the district tournament and a lot is expected out of her this year.

“Chelsea is going to make a great leader and motivator for the new golfers,” Wesley said. “She always has a positive attitude and shows up to practice with a smile on.”

Other returners who will help the team this year are Kristi Gavigan, Katie Riley, Christina Carter and Ashley McElhenie.

“It’s going to be an exciting year like always,” Wesley said. “I’m looking forward to seeing how much they have improved over the off-season and taking that talent to a higher level.”

The Oak Harbor girls have their first match Tuesday, March 22 against Mount Vernon at Eaglemont Golf Course.

Aside from losing its top two golfers, Drew Bashor and Chris Reedy to graduation, the Oak Harbor boys team will also bring back vast amount of experience. There are nine returning golfers from last year’s squad which finished atop the WesCo North A division.

Senior Wes Loveng and junior Matt Holmly pave the way as the two returners who took part in the district tournament.

Other returners that will help are senior John Ahn; juniors Steve Madsen, Robert Tercero, Stephan Steitenroth; sophomores Joe Ahn, A.J. Davis and Brent Fakkema.

“I think the attitude is the kids are ready to step up and play,” head coach John Matzen said. “It’s good to see the smiles on their faces out there.”

Matzen expects Oak Harbor’s division to be tough this year.

“I think it’s going to be competitive,” he said. “I think Arlington is going to be the team to beat, they have a lot of returning golfers.”

The Oak Harbor boys play their first match at 2:30 p.m., March 22 at Whidbey Golf and Country Club against South Whidbey.

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