Kristie Cathcart is back to lead the Escalon golf girls this season and has reason for optimism heading into the season. She recently took part in a question and answer session with The Times regarding the team.
Q: Who are your returning players?
A: I have six returners, five who played in all the matches last year. Madison Kindberg, Angelica Fernandez, Shelby McCune, Mary Adams, Ellie Cunningham and Tati Martinez. Tati did not play in matches last year.
What have been some early bright spots you have seen from the team?
All the girls are working hard. A lot of the girls played over the summer and got lessons and are continuing to get extra help over the weekends. During matches you play with a partner. You can help that partner with a lot of the aspects of the game. The girls are starting to do a better job of working together and helping their partner when they need help and also asking for help when they need it.
Which teams are the toughest you anticipate facing in league play?
Our league, the VFL (Valley Foothill League) is divided into the north and south divisions. We are in the north division which is usually a much tougher division. Bret Harte, Sonora and Ripon will be really good again this year. Argonaut and Summerville are new to the league this year. We have two new courses to play with those teams.
Do the girls just have a varsity level, or will you have a JV program as well, with an assistant coach?
We have 11 girls out this season, six returners and five newbies (two new juniors and three freshmen). Jerry Emery is helping coach again this year and usually works with the new girls. The JV girls will have at least two contacts this season, but we are working on getting them more.
Are there some promising newcomers this season?
Amanda Rickman (junior) and Mikayla Schut (freshman) have been doing very good and will be competing for spots. The other three, Kaitlyn Matsunami (junior), Sarah Abraham and Teagan Nahhas (both freshmen) have already come a long way after the first week.