With seniors Lainey Jackson and Liza Stuckwisch returning at the top of the lineup for the Seymour girls’ golf team this fall, coach Jim Hoffman knows what to expect from the No. 1 and No. 2 positions.
He said the play of the 3-4-5 golfers will show how strong the Owls will be.
Jackson did it all for the Owls last fall as she was named The Tribune’s Player of The Year, the team’s most valuable player, was sectional medalist and Hoosier Hills all-conference first team, and Stuckwisch had a solid season splitting her time between the No. 2 and No. 3 positions.
This will be the fourth year in the varsity lineup for Jackson and Stuckwisch.
“We know what we’ve got with Lainey and Liza,” Hoffman said. “Lainey is a tireless worker. She played in numerous summer tournaments and had great results. Her work ethic is second to none. Every day that I (come to Shadowood), she’s out here. The surprise will come when we have Lily Combs-Smith step up, and with Katie (Cottrill).”
Jackson, who is going to play golf at Indiana University East (Richmond) on a golf scholarship said she averaged 41 for 9-hole matches and 81 in tournaments last fall. She said she played in about 10 junior tournaments this summer.
“I just really enjoyed the competition,” Jackson said. “I liked playing at different courses. I tried to play courses that I’m going to play during the season so I get a better look. I played our regional course at Montgomery. I liked getting familiar with the different courses.”
Jackson talked about the outlook of the team this year.
“We have two new girls on the team so I’m really excited to see how we can play with them, and I’m really looking forward to sectionals to see how we place with Bedford and Brownstown,” she said.
Stuckwisch averaged 49 for 9 and 94 for 18 holes last fall.
“I need to improve on my chipping and putting,” she said.
Stuckwisch said she did not play in any tournaments this summer. “I just came out on my own with my brother. I’m just looking forward to improving, and just playing with good people and just getting better, and my senior year just having fun.”
Hoffman said, “Liza has really come on the last couple years. She hits the ball so well, she’s just solid. She has been our most improved the last two years. So we’ve got those two.”
Two other lettermen are sophomores Cottrill and Emily Windley.
Hoffman said, “Katie hits the ball so well. We’ve got to work on the basic stuff.”
First-year players are sophomores Combs-Smith and Maria Ruiz.
“I’m excited because we’ve got Lily coming who played a lot in middle school,” Hoffman said. “We go quick. Six-seven weeks and we’re over. I’m excited to get started. It’s a fun group of girls. We’re just going to let things happen and see what goes.”
The Owls open their season in the 18-team Bloomington South Invite at Bloomington Country Club, then will host the Seymour Invitational at Shadowood Golf Course Wednesday. Eight teams will play in that event beginning at 9 a.m.
“With our schedule, we like to play the best teams,” Hoffman said. “We relish that opportunity. We always like to set that standard and we’ll just try to improve from there, and hopefully by the time we get to sectional we’re ready.”
Brian Tidd and Scott Jackson are the assistant coaches.