|2006 COVINGTON GOLF PREVIEW...
The Covington boys and girls golf teams are looking to be competitive in the Cross County Conference in 2006.
Covington girl's golf coach Ron Schultz can't help but feel excited about the 2006 season...especially considering the players he has returning from last year.
"We have five girls back from last year who were selected for All-League," said Schultz. "And, they've all improved since then. If we play as well as we are capable of, we should have a great year."
Last year the Lady Bucc Golfers finished with a 19-3 dual record, (13-2 in the CCC) and a 49-15 overall record. Improving on that will be a tall order, but one that is not out of reach.
Leading the way will be senior standout Ashley Johnson. Ashley already has cemented her status as the top women's golfer in school history as she owns every individual record. She also is coming off of an impressive performance in 2005 in which she averaged 44.25 and fell just short of making it to state.
"Ashley works hard it it (golf)," Schultz said. "It's funny...sometimes when she is on the course people will stop and watch her. She's just fun to watch."
Johnson, who has shot a 39 three times, is looking to gain the ever elusive trip to state.
"It's tough (to get to state)," continued Schultz. "There isn't three divisions in golf like there is in other sports. In order to get to state you have to be on your game every time out in the tournament. Ashley's got as good of a chance as anybody."
The only other senior on the roster is Sarah Ciriegio. Sarah averaged 56.35 last season and shot as low as 46 in nine holes and 104 in 18 holes. Ciriegio earned All-CCC honors as a junior.
The three remaining returning golfers are juniors Amanda Fritts, Cali Jo Deeter and sophomore Renee Otte. All three joined Johnson and Ciriegio in earning conference recognition a year ago.
Fritts also was chosen with Johnson as First Team Southwest District selections after averaging a 47 last year. She also shot a low of 42 in 9 holes and an 88 in 18 holes.
Joining last years returning golfers will be a new addition in Sarah Westfall.
The Lady Buccs open season play on Monday, August 14th in the Eagles Lady Bucc Invite at Echo Hills. Nine teams will compete in the tournament, including eight that finished in the top ten at districts a year ago.
"That's a great way to start the season," Schultz said. "We'll find out a lot about ourselves against stiff competition."
Should Covington get off to a fast start, Schultz doesn't see any reason his team can challenge for a conference title.
"There are some nice golfers in the CCC," concluded Schultz. "Arcanum and Franklin Monroe were tough last year and have some nice players back."
With the talent coming back, there's reason to believe the Lady Buccs will be right in the mix at seasons end.
Coming off of a 4-8 league record, the Buccaneers will look to improve without any seniors on the roster.
Despite the lack of senior leadership, head coach Bill Wise returns five letterman in juniors Kyle Simon, Aaron Wright, Kody Thiebeau and sophomores Tyler Rench and Clark Manson. The Buccs have five juniors, three sophomores and three freshman on the roster for 2006.
Covington begins its season on Wednesday, August 16 in the Dan Kendig Memorial Tournament at Echo Hills.