FALL PREVIEWS '09: SPSL NORTH GOLF GLANCE

  • BY Wire Service
  • Monday, September 28, 2009 5:47pm
  • Sports

SPSL NORTH GOLF: AT A GLANCE

• BOYS FAVORITE: KR, Kentwood.

• GIRLS FAVORITES: Kentwood.

• NOTABLE: As always, the SPSL North is loaded on the local golf courses, both for the boys and girls. On the boys side, Kentwood returns a pair of state veterans in Tom Zavada and Kent Hagen, who finished seventh and eighth, respectively, at state last spring. The top three placers at last season’s state tournament — Eastlake’s Kevin Penner, along with Snohomish’s Michael Jaeger and Dylan Stensland — all graduated, leaving the door open for a new champion. Zavada and Hagen weren’t too far off the mark, falling just a few strokes off the top scores. Both could challenge for the top spot next spring, but Kentwood also could push Riley Kuranishi through to state, as well, giving the Conquerors a 1-2-3 punch that’s hard to beat. ... Kentridge returns senior Sean McMullen, a three-time state qualifier. McMullen took 16th last season, but was sixth in 2008 and could very well crack the top 10 again. McMullen is being pushed by young teammate Ahren Young, a freshman who quickly has made a name for himself this fall. Young already has bagged a pair of medalist honors, including last week’s 33 in Kentridge’s 90-87 win over Kentwood. If KR’s Dustin Kask and Nick Bruksos can qualify for state, a strong possibility, the Chargers — along with Kentwood — very well could be bringing home some team hardware. ... Kentlake enjoyed a huge turnout this fall as 32 boys came out for opening day. Karl Dubeau leads a talented pack, but teammate Alex Scott, a senior who stepped away from the sport last fall, returns this season. With junior Alex Carroll back in the mix, this could be the most talented KL team in quite some time. The Falcons opened the season with a bang, knocking off favorite Kentridge, 85-84. ... At Kent-Meridian, the Royals aren’t long on numbers, but did bring back a solid group of returners, led by Kevin Clutter and Aaden Sorem. ... Tahoma returns senior C.J. Munko, a two-time state qualifier who should help the Bears stay in the mix all season. ... For the girls, the two biggest names to know are Kentridge’s Lauren Sewell and Kentwood’s Rui Li. Both are three-time state placers and should challenge for a state crown in the spring. Sewell took a personal-best fourth place at state last season, finishing just five strokes behind champion Chessey Thomas of Lewis and Clark. Li, who has played Sewell step-for-step the last three years, took sixth at state last year and finished three strokes behind Sewell. Kentwood won the girls title in the SPSL North last year, cruising to a perfect 10-0 mark. With Li and standout returners Erika Vossbeck, Chelsea Brossard and Jenna Clavin back in fold, a repeat performance from the Conquerors is a strong possibility. … Like the boys, the Kentlake girls enjoyed a huge turnout as 20 players showed up on the first day. Even in a big field, Lindsey Douglas and Kelli Wyatt, both of whom qualified for state last year, remain the team’s top golfers and give the Falcons reason for optimism. … Kent-Meridian’s lone female returner this season is Samantha Koopmans. … Tahoma’s Amanda Fairweather turned heads last spring as a sophomore, finishing tied for 29th at state, carding a two-day total of 163. Fairweather isn’t quite yet at the level of Li and Sewell, but she isn’t far behind, either.

• OUTLOOK: Kentridge’s 90-87 win over Kentwood last week is a strong indicator that this race is going down to the wire. Both teams possess strong 1-2 punches followed by good depth. The Conquerors have won the last two SPSL North crowns and their only loss during that span came to Tahoma last season. Kentwood will play host to Kentridge on Oct. 8 at Meridian Valley Country Club in a match that very well could decide which team brings home the top prize. ... For the girls, it will be tough for anybody to stop Kentwood, which delivered a perfect 10-0 record last season. The Conquerors return virtually their entire lineup, and with Rui Li at the helm are going to put up big points every time. Kentridge should challenge, but doesn’t likely have the all-out depth required for a league title.

• POSTSEASON PLAY: The golf season is split in two, beginning in the fall and ending in the spring. The medalist and state qualifying tournaments for both genders will be Oct. 21-22 at Gold Mountain Golf Club in Bremerton. State is slated for May 25-26 in the Tri-Cities and Yakima.

GOLFERS TO WATCH

NAME/SCHOOL/YEAR

C.J. Munko/Tahoma/Senior

Notable: When he’s on his game, there are few better.

Rui Li/Kentwood/Senior

Notable: She has been one of the best for three years.

Lauren Sewell/Kentridge/Senior

Notable: She enjoyed a big summer; could a state title come next?

Sean McMullen/Kentridge/Senior

Notable: Three-time state qualifier is hungry for a top-10 finish.

Kent Hagen/Kentwood/Senior

Notable: State veteran can swing it on the baseball diamond, too.

Tom Zavada/Kentwood/Senior

Notable: One of the toughest competitors around made name for himself last year.

Amanda Fairweather/Tahoma/Junior

Notable: One of the fastest-rising female golfers in the state.

Lindsey Douglas/Kentlake/Senior

Notable: Helps provided the Falcons with an impressive 1-2 punch.

Kelli Wyatt/Kentlake/Senior

Notable: Two-time state qualifier should make it a third this season.

Erika Vossbeck/Kentwood/Junior

Notable: One of the big reasons KW won the league title last year.


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