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Team outlook

Class 5A

Boulder Panthers

Coach: John Keady

One player to spotlight: Junior Hayden McCaig.

Notable: The Panthers will be led by McCaig and sophomore Mekdes Bass as Keady continues to navigate the struggles of spring sports in Colorado. “This will be my second season coaching the BHS women’s golf team,” he said. “I was coaching in California before moving here in 2021. The weather is a challenge but the goals of the program are to have fun, learn something about the game or ourselves and, finally, want to participate in golf again.”

LOVELAND, CO-May 31:Ava Hickey, of Fairview ...
Daily Camera file photo
Fairview’s Ava Hickey should be a force in the Class 5A girls golf scene in 2023. (Daily Camera file photo)

Fairview Knights

Coach: John Zerwin

One player to spotlight: Junior Ava Hickey returns as the sole two-time state qualifier, having placed 16th overall (two-round total of 168) last year.

Notable: The Knights will field a sizable team of varying degrees of golf expertise, led by Hickey, junior Jessica Levy, senior Kate Higgins and junior twins Rosemary Maggio and Charlotte Maggio. “We have a very big team this year and lots of newer golfers who are excited about golf,” Zerwin said. “It’s going to be a lot of fun to bring golf to more and more kids.”

Legacy Lightning

Coach: Bobby Ortega

One player to spotlight: Junior Ayla Milan comes back as a two-time state qualifier.

Notable: The Lightning hit the links again after qualifying three ladies for the state tournament last year, including Milan. She’ll be joined by junior Amelia Barr and sophomores Anjali Hagner and Jessica Chhour. “I am always excited to coach and see the growth and improvement from the beginning of the season to the end,” Ortega said. “Team building has been a great part of our program and has built relationships that extend beyond school and graduation.”

Monarch Coyotes

Coach: Geoff Findley

One player to spotlight: Senior captain Lexi Girton served as the lone state qualifier for the Coyotes, finishing 50th (187).

Notable: Findley looks forward to what the season can bring now that it is well removed from COVID and the Marshall Fire. Girton will lead the likes of seniors Landyn Skinner and Lillian Dehner, and sophomore Grasyn Trobaugh. “We are extremely excited about the upcoming season, crossing our fingers that springtime in (Colorado) cooperates,” he said. “It’s evident from our offseason activities that we have a group of motivated girls.”

Class 4A

Broomfield Eagles

Coach: Tony Ferraro

One player to spotlight: Sophomore Mia Huerta finished 76th at the 5A state tournament in her first year and recently made the semifinals of the national Drive, Chip and Putt competition, which Ferraro believes will elevate her second season.

Notable: Huerta will lead a squad that will also feature seniors Ashley Fiala, Faith Saulque-Phipps, Nina Lucas, MacKenzie Jones and sophomore Lexie Chenoweth. “We have a very young and inexperienced team this year,” Ferraro said. “Three of the four girls from our regional team — all three had been on the regional team for multiple years — graduated last year. We are looking for some girls to step up and really play well for us this year.”

Centaurus Warriors

Coach: Ricardo Cabrera

One player to spotlight: Senior Julia Love has qualified for the state tournament two years in a row and hopes to make it three in her final season.

Notable: Love will be joined by senior Maya McGibbon and juniors Danielle DeMartin and Tatum Choi as the Warriors’ starting four as the team continues to grow. “Our golf program welcomes incoming freshmen, and new golfers, and we always look for starting a new season so we can start preparing our golfers for the future of golf and life,” Cabrera said.


Erie Tigers

Coach: Brandon Bird

One player to spotlight: Sophomore Hadley Ashton. Why? Easy. She won the Class 4A state title last year with a two-round score of 147.

Notable: The phrase “we can only go up from here” doesn’t apply to this Tigers squad, a year after they secured the 4A team and individual state titles. Ashton will be joined by Logan Hale (seventh at state), Sydney O’Connor (63rd), Tatem Coapland, Hollyn Drennen and Taylor Hale. “I am so excited,” Bird said. “This group of girls are phenomenal. The amount of hard work they put into the sport and the character they have is second to none.”

Frederick Golden Eagles

Coach: Chris DeSantis

One player to spotlight: Junior Makayla Miller returns as a state qualifier, having made the Longs Peak League all-conference team.

Notable: The Golden Eagles will field 12 players, including seven from the year before, to bring an experienced squad of Miller, junior Zoe Martinez, seniors Hallie Berringer, Maggie Graves, Ella Hoople, Alexis Bendfelt and sophomore Danica Dennis. “Our season is going to go great,” DeSantis said. “It’s great getting an opportunity to coach a great group. We had two state qualifiers from 2022 in Zoe and Makayla and have multiple seniors (who) will be our leaders. We have an underclassman that is going to compete in Danica Dennis.”

Holy Family Tigers

Coach: Heikke Nielsen

One player to spotlight: Senior Ansley Schnelle will lead the Tigers in the wake of Jessica Mason’s graduation after finishing 36th at the 4A state tournament last year.

Notable: Senior Liesel Heitz, sophomores Finley and Fiona Holmes and freshman Steffi Heitz will join Schnelle on the front lines for the Tigers, who placed 11th in the state team competition in 2022. “Although we have big shoes to fill by losing Jessica Mason, our depth has never been stronger than with this group,” Nielsen said. “All five returning players that saw time in varsity tournaments last year are capable of shooting in the mid 80s.”

Longmont Trojans

Coach: Matt Engelking

One player to spotlight: Senior Maura Ashton will lead the Trojans after playing all offseason, leaning on her family’s golf background to guide her.

Notable: The Trojans qualified just one lady for the state tournament last year, but she won’t be returning this year. Instead, they’ll look to Ashton and sophomores Annika Van Dorn and Kaitlyn Murphy for guidance as the season begins to take form. “We have a young team, looking to improve each week and have fun,” Engelking said.

Mead Mavericks

Coach: Mary Durkin

One player to spotlight: Junior Ashley VanDyke will return as one of the strongest starters for a team in a rebuild.

Notable: The Mavericks will look a lot different this year after graduating seven seniors, but luckily have a strong core of juniors to lead them forward. “Mead High School had a great 2022 season and are looking forward to the 2023 season,” Durkin said. “Ashley VanDyke, Stella Snead  and Brinley Warembourg will be solid returners as juniors. The rest of the team will be made up of new golfers from all classes — freshmen, sophomores and juniors.”

Niwot Cougars

Coach: Ed Weaver

One player to spotlight: Sophomore Alena Kasanicky placed 11th at the 4A state tournament last year (159).

Notable: The Cougars hold high hopes for 2023 after returning three state qualifiers with Kasanicky, senior Kate Jones (47th) and junior Mina O’Dell (55th) and will add sophomore Ayla Schatz to the mix. “We will be a competitive team when we get to the regional tournament,” Weaver said.

Silver Creek Raptors

Coach: Bill Kipp

One player to spotlight: Junior Brie Hickman served as the Raptors’ lone state qualifier last year, finishing 76th overall in the tournament (217).

Notable: Hickman will lead an experienced group that includes seniors Vivian Nguyen, Taylor Mallet and junior Anna Davidson. “I am excited that Silver Creek has four returning varsity starters who represented us at regionals last year, and I expect each of our seven players will have improved with another year of playing experience,” Kipp said. “I am cautiously optimistic that we will have multiple players advance to state this year.”

Skyline Falcons

Coach: Kelsey Hargash

One player to spotlight: Senior Kyla Donahue Earls.

Notable: The Falcons continue their rise onto the 4A golf scene, and Hargash looks forward to seeing what some of her leaders — seniors Earls, Abby Bason, juniors Breanne Baker, Haylie Weathers and sophomore Ardith Delgado Castro — can accomplish in 2023. “I am very confident going into this season, over the last few years Skyline has done nothing but continually grow,” Hargash said. “I am very proud of everything we have accomplished and what this season has in store.”

Class 3A

Jefferson Academy  Jaguars

Coach: Robert Braecklein

One player to spotlight: Senior Samantha Duncan will look to qualify for state for the third year in a row after COVID stole her freshman season from her. She finished top-20 in her first two trips to the state tournament, including 16th with a score of 179 in 2022.

Notable: Braecklein holds high hopes for this Jaguar squad. Duncan will be joined by fellow 2022 qualifier, junior Freja Hampton, as well as a few other strong ladies. “I’m very optimistic for the team,” he said. “We have two returning state qualifiers as well as Oliva Saenz, who finished one shot out of qualifying for state last year. This, coupled with expected improvement by Maisy Harris and the addition of incoming freshman Sydney Murphy, we expect to remain competitive in the Metro League, and our focus is on qualifying as a team for state.”

Peak to Peak Pumas

Coach: Michael Ventimiglia

One player to spotlight: Senior Noelle Thompson’s 148 at the state tournament last year earned her second place by just four strokes.

Notable: The Pumas return after a strong 2022 saw the team claim fourth place at the 3A state tournament behind Westmont University commit Thompson. She returns for her senior season alongside juniors Kaylee Craig (39th at state), Ava Sommer (55th) and sophomore Shryia Sharma (42nd). “We are excited to build on our success over the last couple of years,” Ventimiglia said.

Prospect Ridge Academy Miners

Coach: Monica Henrichs

One player to spotlight: Sophomore Hope Torres propelled her team to a 3A runner-up finish in 2022 by placing fourth individually (155).

Notable: After finishing second at the 3A state tournament last year, the Miners are ready to burst back onto the scene with three leading ladies who finished in the top 30 at that tournament: Torres (fourth), junior Leyni Stavola (27th) and junior Kate Dinges (27th). “The PRA girls have been working hard outside of the high school season and have placed well in a few tournaments together,” Henrichs said. “I am very confident, we have a small but mighty team that has a lot of potential to be amazing this year.”

BROOMFIELD, CO-June 1:Noelle Thompson, of Peak to Peak, tees off during the 3A Girls State Golf finals at The Broadlands in Broomfield on June 1, 2022. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)
Peak to Peak’s Noelle Thompson placed second in Class 3A state play in 2022. (Daily Camera file photo)