Duneland Athletic Conference
Players to watch: Kelly Grassel, Sr.; Marissa Kroeger, Sr.; Nicole Dutz, Sr.
Outlook: The Trojans will continue to be a powerhouse with three outstanding golfers returning, including the defending state champion in Grassel. Chesterton will also have several incoming experienced players to help provide depth to arguably the best team in the area.
Quote: "(We're) working towards a season similar to last year when we won the DAC, sectional and placed high at state." !~ coach Dale Hewitt
Players to watch: Alyssa Harvey, So.; Lucia Bracco, Sr.; Zoe Matthews, Sr.; Tiffany Curtis, Fr.
Outlook: The Bulldogs figure to have a good shot to advance past sectionals and have an outside shot to qualify for state. The top four golfers are all solid. Crown Point just needs to find someone to fill the fifth spot.
Quote: "We hated seeing the moratorium week come up, because we're ready to play." !~ coach Jon Haas
Players to watch: Jamie Hintz, Sr.; Kiana Jongsma, Jr.; Kylie Shoemake, So.
Outlook: The Indians have three solid golfers returning and several other girls competing for the other spots. All the returning players are competing in summer tournaments and are dedicated to improving.
Quote: "Our goal is to finish in the top three in the conference, win sectionals, and do our best in the newly-formatted regional to at least get some of our team represented in the state tournament." !~ coach Chris Rossiano
Players to watch: Delanie Alcorn, Jr.; Sydney Rusboldt, Sr.; Katie Gurnicz, Sr.
Outlook: The Slicers should figure to be competitive in the DAC with three varsity letterwinners back. With the state tournament reformatted to LaPorte hosting its own sectional instead of regional, the expectations are to finish in the top three at the sectional.
Quote: "Our goal is the same every year -- to be playing our best golf at the end of the season." !~ coach Mark Wilson
Players to watch: Jibria Ali, Sr.; Marissa Taylor, Sr.; Maggie Connelly, Jr.; Maryam Ali, So.; Brianna Cole, So.
Outlook: The Pirates lost some talent and will look to Taylor and Connelly to be the anchors of the team. Connelly has been playing in the NIJGA all summer to improve her skills.
Quote: "This year we will need them to be good leaders for any new players that show up for the season." !~ coach Patti Tubbs
Outlook: The Wolves finished seventh in the Valparaiso Sectional last season. They'll aim to improve on that and be competitive in the DAC.
Players to watch: Mackenzie Barcelli, Sr.; Gabrielle Ziulkowski, Jr.; Autumn Stevenson, Jr.; Alicia Wood, So.; Haley Hodges, Sr.
Outlook: As a first-year coach, Tim Kunstek has a mix of both youth and experience at Portage. Five sophomores make up the junior varsity team, so building blocks for the future are in place.
Quote: "I know they've been getting out there and playing this summer. They've started to jell." !~ Kunstek
Players to watch: Harley Dubsky, Jr.; Jennifer Gough, So.; Brooke Fullenkamp, So.; Madison Macke, So.
Outlook: The Vikings will continue to be in the top tier of region teams. They are young but immensely talented, which brings hope of good things for at least the next couple years. Dubsky is one of the best golfers in the state.
Quote: "Anytime you have a solid team, expectations are going to be high. All four of them have been playing in lots of summer tournaments." !~ coach Bill Miller
Greater South Shore Conference
Outlook: The Warriors finished last in their own sectional last season, so improving on that finish will be a priority.
Outlook: The Spartans qualified for the LaPorte Regional as a team last season after finishing second at the Kankakee Valley Sectional. They'll aim to at least duplicate that this season.
Players to watch: Alexx Sanchez, Sr.; Erin Mitten, Sr.
Outlook: The Bearcats lost a lot of talent to graduation this season and will look to the two seniors to provide leadership while other players develop. A total of 22 golfers have come out this season, 19 of whom have never golfed before. Coach Mark Becker is hopeful this can be a foundation on which to build.
Quote: "We are a young team, and so I am looking for enthusiasm, smiles and helping them develop a love for a sport that will serve them well into their life." !~ Becker
Northwest Crossroads Conference
Players to watch: Lexi Prasco, So.; Megan Kaminski, So.; Haley Hrosik, Fr.; Kylie Coduti, Fr.; Sara Hutton, So.; Brittany Gray, Jr.
Outlook: The 59ers will field a young team this season, but they hope to be competitive in their matches. Course navigation as well as learning all the rules have been a priority so far.
Quote: "These are a great bunch of girls. They're a team. They have bonded and show a willingness to help each other." !~ coach Marcia Rigg
Outlook: The Panthers placed sixth in last season's Bishop Noll Sectional and will aim for improvement this year.
Outlook: A new coach takes over in Dane Brown, who played collegiate golf at St. Joseph's College. State qualifier Allison Banasiak graduated last season, so the Trojans may be looking up in the NCC.
Outlook: The Brickies placed fifth at last season's Valparaiso Sectional. No. 1 golfer Allison Smith has graduated, so Hobart will need to find someone to fill her shoes.
Players to watch: Emily Tucker, Sr.; Bethany Jansma, Jr.; Madison Wireman, Jr.; Tara Beere, So.
Outlook: All of K.V's players are capable of being the No. 1 golfer, and the Kougars lost only one golfer from last season. The team looks to be improved from last year.
Quote: "The girls are working hard. (We're) looking for good things this year." !~ coach Ron Stanton
Players to watch: Vickie Nichols, Sr.; Jorden Zubey, Jr.
Outlook: Nichols was the Kankakee Valley Sectional medalist last season and should return to be one of the best golfers in the area. She and Zubey have been playing in various summer tournaments to continue improving.
Quote: "We've set our goal for a conference championship. One of the things we're trying to do here at Lowell is establish a program, not just a team." !~ coach John Harris
Players to watch: Rachel Jones, So.; Hailey Estes, Sr.; Jill Oosterhus, Jr.
Outlook: The Mustangs will aim to continue being competitive in the NCC with a good mix of youth and experience. Losing Sarah Kinser to graduation definitely, but the team should remain solid.
Quote: "We return a good group of girls who seem to have a good attitude towards the upcoming season." !~ coach Bill Smitka
Players to watch: Abbey Lukas, Jr.; Kristen Buth, Jr.; Natalie, Dziabosz, Jr.
Outlook: The Wolves have a tough schedule, which includes a dual meet against powerhourse Chesterton. However, coach Bob Lukas expects his team to have a solid season and finish around or over .500.
Quote: "We were 8-9 last year, which was a nice improvement. We're excited about getting started soon." !~ Lukas
Players to watch: Hannah Green, Sr.; Jamie Frost, Sr.; Elizabeth Price, Sr.; Lindsey Lanhan, So.
Outlook: All four returning players were part of the varsity team last season, so there is plenty of experience. The quartet have all been playing in the NIJGA this summer. A move to the LaPorte Sectional from the Kankakee Valley Sectional should prove to be a greater challenge.
Quote: "The NIJGA tournaments will be a positive plus in preparing us for the season." !~ coach Jerry Kienzle
Outlook: The Bombers qualified for last season's LaPorte Regional after finishing third in the Kankakee Valley Sectional. Rensselaer will aim to qualify as a team again.