Duneland Athletic Conference
Players to watch: Taryn Trusty, Sr.; Grace Davis, So.; Cara Kroeger, Fr.
Outlook: The Trojans will be less experienced than is season past with just two starters returning, plus the loss ot two-time state medalist Kelly Grassel. “We will be doing some rebuilding, but we have some talent to work with,” coach Dale Hewitt said. “I think we will surprise some people and have a pretty good team."
Players to watch: Tiffany Curtis, So., Alyssa Harvey, Jr., Emily Harvey, Fr., Rileigh Haas, Fr.
Outlook: The Bulldogs will be very young but will look to finish in the top three of the DAC and challenge for a sectional title. Curtis was a state qualifier last year, and Alyssa Harvey was a 2011 sectional champ.
Players to watch: Kiana Jongsma, Sr., Kylie Shoemake, Jr., Allie Onest, So., Julia Beggs, So., Amanda Blais, Sr.
Outlook: The Indians return four of their top five golfers. State qualifiers Jongsma and Shoemake top the list of returnees, and both have improved their games over the summer. LC will look to defend its sectional title and make a solid tournament run.
Players to watch: Delanie Alcorn, Sr.; Hannah Sutherlin, Sr.; Taylor Thompson, Sr.
Outlook: Mark Wilson’s Slicers have three seniors at the top of the lineup, including Alcorn, who took home the LaPorte Sectional title last year. LaPorte missed qualifying for the regional by two strokes, and the senior-laden Slicers could get back to the regional this year.
Players to watch: Maggie Connelly, Sr., Brianna Cole, Jr., Maryam Ali, Jr.
Outlook: Connelly had a fantastic summer playing in tournaments and will win her share of medalist honors during the high school season. The rest of the team is short on experience but should improve as the season progresses.
Players to watch: Lizzie Smith, Sr.; Claire Werner, Jr.; Tara Seizys, Jr.
Outlook: The Wolves have their third coach in three years as Drew White takes over the program. After only having five girls on the team a year ago, the Wolves have 12 players going out for this year’s team to begin to build a program, with Smith leading the way.
Players to watch: Autumn Stevenson, Sr.; Katelyn Bohlim, Sr.; Alicia Wood, Jr.
Outlook: The Indians, who qualified for the regional a year ago, will try to make a return trip on the strength of three upperclassmen. “We have a nice balance of seniors and experienced players,” coach Tim Kunstek said. “The DAC should be wide open.”
Players to watch: Harley Dubsky, Sr.; Jennifer Gough, Jr.; Brooke Fullenkamp, Jr.
Outlook: The Vikings feature one of the top players in the state in Dubsky, who has finished in the Top 10 at the state tournament in each of her first three seasons. Valparaiso tied for fifth at last year’s state finals, and looks to improve. “This is a new season with pretty much the same team, so expectations are even higher,” coach Bill Miller said.
Northwest Crossroads Conference
Players to watch: Lexi Prasco, Jr., Megan Kaminski, Jr., Brittany Grey, Sr. Haley Hrosik, Jr., Sarah Hutton, Jr.
Outlook: The Niners return their top four players and should show vast improvement from last year. Prasco and Kaminski were regional qualifiers a year ago.
Players to watch: Chandler Adkins, Sr. Paige Obermeyer, Sr., Blair Morton, Jr., Heather Steele, Fr., Coryn Kealey, Fr.
Outlook: The Panthers' chemistry is better than it has been the past couple of years. The veterans will provide leadership to the younger players who are working hard to improve.
Players to watch: Alexa Hogueisson, Sr., Katie Harnisch, Jr., Emily Smith, So., Dakotah Olah, So.
Outlook: The Trojans are looking for good things under first-year coach Dan Richardson. They’re still a very young team but look at that as an advantage and hope to continue to grow.
Players to watch: Morgan Barrasas, So., Kate Herrin, Sr., Kate Bonner, Sr., Ashlyn Daghy, Sr.
Outlook: The Brickies will try to fill the void left by the graduated Aimee Pope, and sophomore Morgan Barrasas shows a lot of promise.
Players to watch: Bethany Jansma, Sr., Madison Wireman, Sr., Tara Berry, Jr., Shannon Patrick, Jr.
Outlook: The Kougars lost just one golfer from last year’s conference and sectional championship team and look to have another solid year.
Players to watch: Frankie Rebesco, Sr., Jorden Zubay, Sr., Maddie Binder, Fr.
Outlook: Rebesco and Zubay provide invaluable leadership at the top of the lineup for a team that will have a lot of inexperience at the start of the season.
Players to watch: Rachel Jones, Jr., Natalie Vellutini, Jr., Jill Osterhus, Sr.
Outlook: The Mustangs qualified for the regional last year and finished with an 11-4 mark (6-0 NCC). They should have a decent season if they can find a couple golfers to complement Jones and Vellutini, who both earned conference honors last season.
Greater South Shore Conference
Players to watch: Andrea Delgado, So., Alyssa Anglin Jr., Jailynn Thomas, Fr., Megan Whelan, Fr.
Outlook: The Warriors are counting on a talented freshman class among 15 players to have a big impact. Thomas is an accomplished junior level player, and Whelan is a very good athlete.
Players to watch: Lauren Lanham, Sr., Lindsay Lanham, Jr., Ashley Yoways, Sr., Haley Frost, Jr.
Outlook: The Wildcats will try to duplicate last year’s effort where they won the LaPorte Sectional. Hanover won’t be quite as strong at the start, but it returnS a good nucleus.
Players to watch: Elaina Ellis, So.; Kate Larson, Fr.
Outlook: The Blazers have eight players out for the team, all freshmen and sophomores. Coach Jordan Gallas is excited about building for the future. “We have a full team this year, and we can work with them a bit to build over the next couple of years,” he said.
Players to watch: Alisha Watts, Jr., Taylor Watkins, Sr., Kelsea Russell, Sr., Stephanie Munoz, Sr.
Outlook: Watts, Watkins and Russell all have varsity experience to give the Spartans a veteran team. Watts and Watkins were regional qualifiers a year ago. They’ll look to compete for the conference title and have another strong finish to the season.
Players to watch: Abbey Lukas, Sr.; Meaghan Spalla, So.; Kristen Buth, Sr.
Outlook: Lukas, a regional qualifier in 2012, leads the Wolves, who missed out on a regional berth by nine strokes. Bob Lukas’ team features three seniors and two sophomores. “They hope to make a trip to Lafayette as a team this year,” he said.
Players to watch: Courtney Feagans, Sr., Emma Messman, Sr.
Outlook: The Bombers might not be as strong as they’ve been in the past, but they should register another winning season. Feagans has worked hard in the offseason to improve her craft and should have a solid senior campaign along with Messman.
-- Christopher Breach, Andrew Stem, Times Correspondents