Though the Lady Grizzlies are without Whitney Stevenson, who is now at Daytona State College, they returned junior Meghan Nay, the reigning county champion. Sophomore Claire Roop also returned and will look to improve on her stellar freshman season. Newcomer, Lauren Baird joined the team this season and will be counted on to shoot low as a freshman.
Coach Casey Gramling said the girls have shown great chemistry, and he has high expectations for them this season.
Sequoyah coach Sharon Peters will try to challenge Creekview in the county and in Region 7AAAAA this season.
The Lady Chiefs will rely on low scores from juniors McKenzie Bowman, Anna-Tate Donner and Jordan Haley, as well as senior Laura Johnson. Despite losing three four-year starting seniors from last season, Peters believes the Lady Chiefs have caught lightning in a bottle with the duo of Bowman and Donner.
“We had some big shoes to fill after last season,” Peters said, “but Bowman and Donner have stepped in and proven to be great leaders for us.”
In Region 7AAAA, it will be a rebuilding year for River Ridge coach Ansley Sand.
The Lady Knights lost three seniors from last year’s squad and will look to gain experience with their younger players. Savannah Freeman will be River Ridge’s top player, and Sand is looking forward to seeing Freeman finish out her senior year strong.
“She is our team leader,” Sand said. “Savannah is the only player with a lot of experience under her belt, so we look to her to help lead our team.”
Another young team this year will be Cherokee in Region 5AAAAAA.
The Lady Warriors will not have any seniors, and they lost Amanda Burton and Sydney VanAlstyne, two members of the team that won a region championship in 2012 and finished as the Class AAAAA state runner-up.
Looking to revive Cherokee’s fortunes will be juniors Caitlin Woodall and Katelynn Anderson. Even though Woodall and Anderson are juniors, they have only played two years of golf, according to coach Robin Roper. Despite that, Roper expects her squad to remain competitive and improve as the season goes on.
Etowah coach Craig McKinney believes he has something special brewing this season. The Lady Eagles’ top players will be senior twins Ashley and Taylor Anthony, and juniors Melanie Talbott, and Tyler Dawson. McKinney believes the Anthony sisters have particular potential.
“They have a chance in their senior year to lift this team to its potential,” McKinney said. “I am excited to see what comes of all their hard work.”
According to McKinney, the Lady Eagles have a specific goal they share.
“We have a goal we are focused on and excited to pursue and strive for it. I want my players to ultimately celebrate the process of accomplishing this goal,” McKinney said. “These girls have worked hard and have played together for a number of years, and I believe they are ready for something special.”
Woodstock coach Derek Engram will battle it out with Cherokee and Etowah in Region 5AAAAAA. The Lady Wolverines are expecting a lot of low scores this season from senior Madison Blackburn, sophomore Madi Dalton and freshman Abby Bolt.
Engram is eager and excited for the season to progress.
“I am hoping that each girl can play up to their potential,” he said. “If that happens, I think we’re going to shock a lot of teams.”