Eager to compete

PENDLETON — The 2014-15 season didn’t quite go according to plan for the Mt. Vernon girls golf team.

Losing standouts Ellen Wuerch and Hannah Yee to graduation, the Marauders opened the year at a disadvantage with only four players on the team, which is the minimum to compete as a group.

Behind from the start every time the team entered tournament and match play, Mt. Vernon struggled to compete, though individually the Marauders enjoyed individual success.

Senior Molly Yee provided a punch atop the lineup while continuing to make strides in the postseason.

Despite her team losing hold of the Hancock County title last fall to New Palestine after a successful two-year run, Yee’s leadership and talent prevailed along with Wills.

She retained the label of all-county by firing a 39 at Arrowhead Golf Course last fall to place third overall as an individual in the annual invitational.

She finished behind both New Palestine’s Cassie Rooks (37) and Abby Poole (37), whom contributed to the Dragons’ school-record 155 to fend off Mt. Vernon (172).

The year prior, Yee was again all-county for a second time and all-Hoosier Heritage Conference.

And for her superb performance on the course in 2014, she was named Marauder of the Year in girls golf, a recognition given to outstanding student-athletes by the school.

A scholar in the classroom, Yee earned all-academic team honors in the HHC as well.

At sectional, Yee paced the short-handed Marauders with an 85 Old Oakland, Mt. Vernon’s home course. She advanced to regional as an individual along with Willis (89).

Her postseason, however, ended at Westwood Golf Club during regional last year, but as a senior this fall she is determined to help her team get back on top where they stood as back-to-back sectional champions from 2012-13.

Recently, Yee spoke with the Daily Reporter, discussing her final season, her expectations and her aspirations for the team.

Molly, after the way last year ended, how excited were you and the team to get back on the golf course against Pendleton Heights to open the season?

We were really excited to get back. We were expecting one of our veterans (Maeve McCafferty) to return, but she decided not to play, so we’re definitely trying to make up for what we lost.

But it’s really nice to see how many people we have on the team. We haven’t had this many since my freshman or sophomore year. There are a few newbies, but I know they’ll get better through the year and years. It was really fun playing with Charli (True) (Monday).

What did you do this summer to get yourself prepared?

I played in a few Indiana Junior Golf tournaments, and I practiced every day mostly. I had one tournament in Greensburg, one at Hawk’s Tail in Greenfield and one at The Players Club in Yorktown.

Obviously, you’ve played at quite a few courses. What is your favorite course to play?

I do like our home course (Old Oakland), obviously, but I do really like playing at Greensburg Country Club.

How difficult was it for you and the team to only have four golfers in the lineup last season?

It was very stressful. We couldn’t depend on anyone else to pick up for us. We only had four players, so we had to be there every single day and every single tournament and every single match.

There was a lot more expectation and pressure. If you didn’t get a good score, you were left wondering if your team was going to lose. You just never knew.

You’ve been all-county the past three years, finishing in the top-three last season. How big of a goal is it for you to capture that top honor as an individual?

It would be really nice if that happened. I think I have a chance this year because Abby Poole (New Palestine) has left, and she was a really good player. She was really hard to beat. She’s off at college, and they’ve lost a few people, so I think there’s a good chance this year.

How much of a motivator is it for you and the team to try and get back and compete for a potential county and sectional title?

Last year, it was the first year I haven’t won county as a team, so it was very different. It would be nice to get those back. We’re going to need four very solid scores, so we’ll see what will happen.

Looking around the county, in your opinion, which team do you feel is going to be the hardest to compete against?

New Pal, definitely, because they have Cassie Rooks and Mackenzi Black coming back along with one other starter. They’re all very talented.

Have you looked into playing at college after you graduate from high school?

I don’t really know if I’m going to play in college. I’ll probably go to Purdue and major in actuarial science most likely.

Who’s that one golfer on your team, besides yourself, Marauders fans need to keep an eye on this fall?

It’s definitely Charli. As a freshman, she’s already very talented and really good. She’s won a lot of tournaments throughout the summer, so I think she has a chance to do a lot of good things.

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Rich Torres is sports editor at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. He can be reached at rtorres@greenfieldreporter.com or 317-477-3227.