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Published October 4th, 2017
Range of talent on local high school girls golf teams
Avalon Schenone Photos Gint Federas

Under the leadership of head coach Tim Scott and assistant coach Dan Weiner, the Acalanes High School Girls Golf Team comprises 18 girls.
Scott has a very young team: "We have a lot of new players that are developing. I do not know how many of the girls will want to continue to pursue the game after this season."
The top player for the Dons is junior Avalon Schenone who is the team's captain. Scott appreciates that "she has both power and accuracy in her game. She is a hard worker and wants to be good at the game."
Scott also likes the potential he sees in sophomore Katlin Kirby: "She is working hard on her game. She practices hard and wants to be a good player."
For many of the girls, it is their first exposure to competitive golf: "We have some very good athletes with great potential but many are starting from scratch. It is a chance for the girls to bond as a team. I am trying to make it fun and to make sure that the girls don't get frustrated and discouraged."
The team plays their home matches at the Rossmoor Golf Course. It is a course that provides his team with some advantage as it has some unique holes that require knowledge of the distances that visitors generally don't possess.
The Campolindo Girls Golf team also brings a lot of potential but has to take a long-term approach to see the young team's development.
Coach Gary O'Neill understands that it is not easy for players newly exposed to golf: "Golf is a cruel game. We are still looking for players to step up and establish themselves as regulars for our matches."
By far, O'Neill's best player is junior Ashley Pan who he feels has the desire and ability to eventually play for a Division I college team. Alexa Pritchard has also shown the potential to be able to develop into a competitive player as well.
O'Neill's goals for his team are to improve their skills, bring enjoyment to the game so that they will continue to play golf after the season and return to the team next season, and improve the team's overall competitiveness.
Though his players have shown their improvement on the driving range, his players are learning that "it is a huge step from the driving range to the golf course."
The Cougars home course is the Moraga Country Club and provides his team with a real home course advantage: "It helps that our teams know the greens and the layout of the course. It is not a long course but is very technically challenging."
Miramonte's golf coach, Bob Riddell, is the one coach who is the beneficiary of a team with real depth. With 16 girls on his team, Riddell has many choices as to whom to play: "We are really deep in talent. There are 12-13 girls on the team who are match ready."
Developing camaraderie and team spirit on a team is crucial and for this, Riddell has come to rely on senior captains and four-year players Reagan Tierney and Tiffany Shinn. Says Riddell: "With their leadership, this has been a great group to work with."
Playing their home matches and practices at Orinda Country Club, Riddell speaks about how indebted the team is to be able to utilize this facility: "There are a few of our players whose parents are members at this club so they are able to practice their year-round."
Boding well for the future, the top players on the Matadors team are all sophomores: Kaydee Tu who recently shot a 74 in the Poppy Ridge Classic finishing in fifth; Katie Ingrey, maybe the most consistent player on the team; and Ashley Abramson who is new to the team and has shown the potential to become a top player.
Riddell is optimistic about how the team is developing and is pointing to the Diablo Athletic League Tournament and the North Coast Section Championships.

Ashley Pan
Emah Dodd

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