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2014 Golf Preview: Mt. Vernon

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Coach: Caleb Zelencik, 9th season.
Home Course: Old Oakland, Indianapolis.
2013: Hancock County Tourney, 1st place, 160 (9 holes); Hoosier Heritage Conference, 2nd place, 362; Sectional, 1st place, 366; Regional, 12th place, 367.
2014 Varsity (w/grade): Molly Yee (11), Bailey Fleming (12), Briley Wills (11), Maeve McCafferty (10).
Outlook: The two-time defending sectional champ Marauders are in a tough spot. They lost standouts Ellen Wuerch and Hannah Yee to graduation and don’t have any new team members. MV will open 2014 with four players – the bare minimum needed to post a team score. Wuerch was all-county and all-conference for the Marauders a year ago, while Yee was routinely among the club’s top three scorers, along with returning sister, Molly Yee. Coach Caleb Zelenick is optimistic. “The transition from Wuerch/Hannah Yee should be fairly smooth simply because we have four girls that have been a part of the team,” Zelencik said. “Obviously we’ll miss the scores that those two provided us with, but this group of ladies is certainly capable of posting some competitive rounds. If they continue to hit the ball the way they have for the first two practices, then I really like our chances to be there at the end of the season fighting for a third straight sectional title.” … Mt. Vernon had never claimed a girls sectional golf crown until the 2012 squad did so. It was also two years ago that the Marauders snapped Greenfield-Central’s seven-year hold on the Hancock County Tourney, a title MV successfully defended last season. Zelencik believes New Palestine is a contender for both local championships.  “New Pal is going to be tough this year,” he said. “Abby (Poole) has the ability to get them a big lead in any match or tournament because she can go low. Then you throw in the experience and skill of their other girls and look out. They are a hungry bunch, and I know the only thing that will make them happy is to hoist that sectional trophy.” … Molly Yee joined Wuerch in 2013 in earning all-conference (top eight) and all-county (top five) finishes. She posted the team’s best score – 84 – to help the Marauders edge Whiteland 366-372 for the sectional title. “Molly has really grown her game,” Zelencik said. “She really understands what it takes to score well and play in big matches. I think her mental maturity will really prove to be the difference this year. I think she’s gonna have a big year.” … Bailey Fleming and Briley Wills also return after significant varsity action last season. Among Fleming’s highlights was an all-county finish; she tied for third overall with a 40. Sophomore Maeve McCafferty will see full-time varsity work. “I think they all are going to show how much they’ve improved, and how much they understand the game of golf. We need to do a little work on the greens, but to start off I couldn’t be happier with our ball striking. Bailey has done a great job assuming the leadership role. Briley and Maeve both have committed themselves to getting better and more consistent. We lost two talented ladies, but we brought back four that want to prove themselves.”
Teeing Off: Against Pendleton Heights Tuesday, MV opened the season with a 188-194 win. Yee carded a 40, while Wills (46) and Fleming (47) had solid rounds. “Molly had a fantastic round,” Zelencik said. “Bailey and Briley both played well and had chances to be better. I saw them both strike the ball well. Maeve (55) had a rough start, but started hitting the ball well down the stretch.”  The Marauders will host Shelbyville today.

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