The Manhattan High girls’ golf team had quite the experienced group last season, led by a Division I golfer in Michelle Woods.
This year, the team has experience in a different way, and will get its first chance to see that group in action at the Shawnee Heights Invitational at Lake Shawnee today in Topeka.
The Indians will have two returners in senior Blake Fingalsen and junior Jenna Cruisinberry, and MHS coach Chris George said they are looking toward them to provide leadership.
“They both have set the tone in practice and Jenna is our captain this year and has done a lot of behind the scenes work to get our season started, including uniforms and tournaments that they all played in,” she said. “She has been a good leader and picked up right where she left off last year, and it’s been the same with Blake, which is great.”
The team will also have some additional leadership coming from a move-in senior in Taylor Lund, who came to the team from North Dakota.
George said as soon as she moved here in the spring, she began working on her golf game to prepare for the fall season.
“Taylor bought a membership at Stagg as soon as she moved here and has played a lot since she moved in since the spring and summer,” he said. “She has experience in tournaments up there which is good and so far it looks like she will contribute to our team and we were surprised to have an experienced senior move in.”
The rest of the team on Monday will be made up of freshmen twins Kelsie and Kylie McCarthy, and sophomore Hanna Devane — who is changing sports from volleyball to golf.
George said a lot of the players put in work during the summer, and that’s why some of them made the team for the first tournament of the year.
“Hanna has played a lot this summer and she made the cut for the first tournament,” he said. “All of the newcomers played a lot this summer and that’s probably why some made the cut over the others.”
With two seniors, a junior, a sophomore and two freshman headed to the first tournament of the year, George said they will have a younger team, but the summer work should put them in a position to be a competitive team this season.
“We will be a pretty young team and looking at our qualifying rounds they shot some pretty decent scores so we will hope for the best,” he said.