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Girls golf previews: Sectional qualifiers back for Glenbard East, Willowbrook, York

As the girls golf season gets underway, teams have their sights set on the same destination – downstate Decatur for the Class A and AA state tournaments on Oct. 17 and 18. If tradition holds, Addison Trail, Glenbard East, Willowbrook and York will begin the postseason at the same regional tournament.

Addison Trail Blazers

Coach: Phil Stewart

Conference: West Suburban Gold

Top players

Francesca Capparelli Freshman

Al-Baab Khan Senior

Nicolina Mannino Senior

Outlook: Plenty of new faces will make up the Addison Trail girls golf team this year. Not only is Gia Dela Cruz, one of the best golfers to ever go through the program, gone, but a new coach also is in place.

Phil Stewart takes over and has a young squad in his first year. Just two seniors, Al-Baab Khan and Nicolina Mannino, are on the roster, but Stewart was optimistic about the young players coming up.

“We are a young team trying to start over after Gia’s graduation,” Stewart said. “We have quite a few freshmen that we hope can grow into really good golfers. Francesca Capparelli has the best golf game on our team as of now.”

Glenbard East Rams

Coach: Scott Miller

Conference: Upstate Eight Valley

Top players

Grace Ludwig Junior

Anna Mahay Senior

Outlook: Two sectional qualifiers, Grace Ludwig and Anna Mahay, are back to lead the Rams this fall.

Glenbard East has 12 returning players in all. Coach Scott Miller also mentioned junior Gillian Ostrowski and sophomore Samantha Katsikas as key players for the season ahead.

The Rams moved into the Upstate Eight this year and the first conference match was Thursday against West Aurora.

Willowbrook Warriors

Coach: Jim White

Conference: West Suburban Gold

Top players

Madison Aiello Senior

Amanda Di Nella Senior

Therese Flicek Senior

Allison Kelley Senior

Outlook: Four-year varsity player Amanda Di Nella has qualified for sectionals the past three seasons for the Warriors.

She will be joined by Madison Aiello, Allison Kelley and Therese Flicek as seniors on the team.

“We are a young and inexperienced team, but have players that want to learn and compete, can’t ask more than that,” coach Jim White said.

York Dukes

Coach: Barb Tilden

Conference: West Suburban Silver

Top players

Megan Backman Junior

Breanna Failla Senior

Natalie Hennin Senior

Elise Rantis Senior

Danielle Sika Senior

Outlook: The Dukes feature 11 returners in the program, including four seniors: Breanna Failla, Natalie Hennin, Elise Rantis and Danielle Sika.

In addition, returning juniors Megan Backman, Lauren Cairo, Ellen Foley, Maggie Milkowski and Katie Beth Pasternock give the team plenty of depth. Backman and Rantis qualified for sectionals as individuals last year.

“All the seniors promise to be strong players and the younger girls all have promising futures on the team,” York coach Barb Tilden said.

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