Coach: John Keady
The Scorecard: Keady is in his first season as girls golf coach and thus was still familiarizing himself with the team, but season play began at the Denver East Invitational Tuesday and the Panthers saw four seniors — Grace Shook, Gabriella Bartsch, Jessie Bush and Rowan Braeckel — get some good swings in at City Park Golf Course. Keady, who was a head coach at Miramonte (Calif.) High before moving to Boulder last August, said he has a few beginners that he is elated to coach up in 2021.
Coach: Tony Ferraro
The Scorecard: Seniors Brooklyn Davis and Hampton Traylor are returning state qualifiers looking to make their way into the field at the Olde Course in May, and senior Erica Culley is pinned as a girl who can cut a couple strokes off her game to make the state field after being an alternate a year ago. Another to watch is freshman Mia Hureta. “We have nine freshmen on our team this year and four sophomores,” Ferraro wrote, ” … a lot of really young players with lots of potential to be really good.”
Coach: John Zerwin
The Scorecard: With a stroke average of around 78 last season, now-sophomore Ava Hickey leads FHS as a candidate for a top-10 finish at the Class 5A state tournament after placing 29th as a freshman. She finished sixth in regionals, too. Zerwin’s team is void of seniors, which bodes well for continued growth and togetherness over the next couple of years, and the Knights have a sophomore trio of Jessica Levy and twin sisters Charlotte and Rose Maggio who could make a dent in the Front Range League standings.
Coach: Bobby Ortega
The Scorecard: The Lightning have some dedicated student-athletes who also happen to be pretty good on the links. Seniors Peyton McLeese and Raven Dukane will look to make a push into low-90s averages this spring, while sophomore Ayla Milan showed nice potential last year with a 32nd-place state finish (two-round total of 170 at City Park).
Coach: Geoff Findley
The Scorecard: The Coyotes had one state qualifier last year in senior Adair Tueton, but a pair of MoHi representatives in Kaelan Norgard and Lexi Girton were mighty close to qualifying. They’ll both be quality golfers in the Front Range League this spring. “This is their year,” Findley said, adding he has seven freshmen out for the team. As with many MoHi student-athletes, Findley and company are hoping to support Alicia Chapman and Cassie Ferrera who lost their homes in the Marshall Fire. Both have shown resiliency through adversity, the coach said.
Coach: Ricardo Cabrera
The Scorecard: Julia Love knocked six strokes off her Day 1 performance at 4A state last season for a second-round 85, vaulting her up to 25th place overall. Cabrera is excited for her potential to consistently hit in the mid-80s and compete every tournament in the spring. Senior Morgan Hoffman leads the next group of potential state qualifiers, with Maya McGibbon, Megan Kelly, Tatum Choi and Danielle De Martin all striving for weekly improvement.
Coach: Brandon Bird
The Scorecard: Sydney O’Connor and Marin Cantwell finished right next to each other in 42nd and 45th place, respectively, at last year’s Class 4A state championships, and while they still lead the team in many ways, there is excitement with some additions to the team. The Tigers welcome freshman Hadley Ashton, the reigning JGAC Tour Champion), sophomore Logan Hale (transfer from Vail) and sophomore Kait Park. Hale and Park have state championship experience from 2021. Tatem Copeland is another sophomore in the mix for a state berth. “We are also a young team, out of 15 girls we only have one senior and two juniors,” Bird wrote. “So we feel like this is the beginning of something really special here at Erie.”
Coach: Chris DeSantis
The Scorecard: The Warriors have a good, consistent program despite being still fairly new, and DeSantis is banking on young players Makayla Miller, Ella Hoope and Zoe Millard to perhaps work their way to mid-90s stroke averages to give the Warriors a chance at getting some girls to state. Millard shot 106 at the Denver East Invitational on Tuesday. “A young Warriors team with lots of potential … leadership is going to be fed by our returning varsity players,” DeSantis said.
Holy Family Tigers
Coach: Heikke Nielsen
The Scorecard: All eyes are on reigning Class 4A state champion Jessica Mason, who won her title by 10 strokes over second place and who has been just as solid as they come through her prep career. The next step for Holy Family is competing for a state team championship, which first-year coach Nielsen feels they can do with the likes of Madison Rooney, Ansley Schnelle and Liesel Heitz continuing to get better. Finley and Fiona Holmes, another set of twins in the area, add the to Tigers’ depth.
Coach: Kailee Bauer
The Scorecard: The fledgling Trojans program got a state qualifier in year one, as JuliAnne Herrmann respresented the Trojans well with a 55th place finish. Herrmann is back, and Bauer is excited at the progress the entire program has made in such a short amount of time.
Coach: Ed Weaver
The Scorecard: The Cougars return three state qualifiers in Sydney Rothstein, Kate Jones and Mina O’Dell, while the additions of freshmen Alena Kasanicky, Ayla Schatz and Alex Mounce give NHS some depth in their quest for Longs Peak League dominance. Rothstein placed 23rd at state last year and will look for a solid two rounds back-to-back in Grand Junction at the end of May.
Coach: Mary Durkin
The Scorecard: A senior-heavy Mavericks team looks strong overall, especially with Timbre Shehee fully ready to compete for an individual Class 4A title. Callie Pyle and Jodean Amen round out the returning state qualifiers, while Seri Williams also looks to finish off her career in style. Maddie Tapia, a freshman, represents MHS’ new blood.
Silver Creek Raptors
Coach: Bill Kipp
The Scorecard: The Raptors have a pretty large group with tournament experience, and Kipp also mentioned five new players who have made an early impression during practices. Vivian Nguyen, a junior, was a state alternate last season and will most likely be in the mix to break through with a state spot this season, and Kipp also said Brie Hickman was agonizingly close to qualifying in 2021. Elena Rodriguez, Anna Davidson, Audrey Cooper and Leonie Richardson are others to watch.
Coach: Kelsey Hale
The Scorecard: Hale is super excited that her team continues to grow in numbers and in quality of play. The Falcons will look to Kyla Donahue Earls and Maggie Keller for leadership while continuing to enjoy their rounds as a team. “This will be both Kyla and Maggie’s second year playing golf,” Hale said. “… they are our team captains this year and have helped develop our girls golf program from a total of four athletes last year to 11 this year; their love for golf is infectious in our school and community.”
Jefferson Academy Jaguars
Coach: Robert Braecklein
The Scorecard: After seeing his daughter Aubri capture the Class 3A state title in 2021 and advance to Georgia State, coach Braecklein has a Jaguars team in 2022 that will look to Samantha Duncan and Freja Hampton to continue the strong representation at state. Hampton could not compete at state last year because of prior obligations, and surely she’ll be hungry to compete. Maisy Harris and Savannah McNew are first-year players for JA that could have an impact. “We have the largest team in the past 5 years that I’ve been with JA (nine golfers), which is a testament to how well our girls have conducted themselves and worked to get the word out about how great golf is,” Braecklein said.
Peak to Peak Pumas
Coach: Michael Ventimiglia
The Scorecard: Noelle Thompson had the highest finish among 3A girls outside of Aubri Braecklein last year, placing 13th after a first-round 82. Thompson is now a junior, and sophomores Ava Sommers and Kaylee Craig back her up. Shriya Sharma has potential, and the goal for Ventimiglia is to get an entire foursome qualifed for state for the second year in a row.
Prospect Ridge Academy Miners
Coach: Monica Henrichs
The Scorecard: The Miners continue to build up under Henrichs’ leadership, and she is hopeful that more PRA girls come out to play every year. In 2022, they’ll look to repeat some immediate success behind returning state players Erin Choi, a junior, and Leyni Stavola, a sophomore. The pair both finished within the top 50 last season. Hope Torres is another one that has caught Hale’s attention. “This is the second season for PRA girls golf, and we are excited to have kept up interest from year 1 and hope to have even more girls qualify for state this year,” Hale said.
Bringing it home: recent state champions
2021 — Teams: Loveland (5A), Discovery Canyon (4A), St. Mary’s Academy (3A); Individuals: Katelyn Lehigh, Loveland (5A), Jessica Mason, Holy Family (4A), Aubri Braecklein, Jefferson Academy (3A).
2020 — No championships awarded (COVID-19 season cancellation)
2019 — Teams: Fossil Ridge (5A), Windsor (4A), Colorado Academy; Individuals: Lauren Lehigh, Loveland (5A), Hailey Schalk, Holy Family (4A), Caroline Jordaan, Colo. Academy (3A).
2018 — Teams: Cherry Creek (5A), Windsor (4A), Colorado Academy (3A); Individuals: Emma Bryant, Eaglecrest (5A), Maxine Choi, Cheyenne Mountain (4A), Hailey Schalk, Holy Family (3A).
Point me to the postseason
Regional golf tournaments will take place around the state May 23-25, where state qualifiers will be determined. The state tournaments are as follows on May 31-June 1: Class 3A — The Broadlands in Broomfield; Class 4A — Tiara Rado in Grand Junction; Class 5A — Olde Course in Loveland.