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State tourney ambitions drive Hinsdale Central, South girls golfers

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 Oct. 17 and 18. Hinsdale Central should be in the mix for a state title while Hinsdale South and other area teams are shooting for more success this season.

Benet Redwings

Coach: Mike Bremner

Conference: East Suburban Catholic

Top players

Isabella Abdullah, sophomore

Annie Arnold, senior

Abby Bitto, sophomore

Emma Schramko, sophomore

Gretchen Schramko, senior

Outlook: The Redwings appear to be on the upswing this season with a roster full of returning varsity players. Isabella Abdullah and Gretchen Schramko were sectional qualifiers last year, and Abdullah went on to place 40th at the state tournament. Annie Arnold, Abby Bitto, Maggie Durkin, Georgia Prock and Emma Schramko were varsity members last fall.

The steady veteran presence should help Benet as it looks to improve on a 9-9 dual meet record last year.

Downers Grove South Mustangs

Coach: Jeff Bryant

Conference: West Suburban Gold

Top players

Emily Tom, junior

Taylor Troha, senior

Outlook: In Emily Tom and Taylor Troha, the Mustangs have two sectional tournament-qualifying players back in the fold and plenty of experience surrounding them. Seniors Maria Garofalo, Sarah Hodges and Carolyn Packard and junior Morgan Meyer also return from last year’s varsity team.

By the time the state series starts in early October, South should be well prepared. In addition to a tough tournament schedule that includes Joliet (Saturday), Oak Forest (Sept. 13) and Providence (Sept. 20), the Mustangs face tough teams like Lyons Township, Hinsdale South and Hinsdale Central in dual meets.

Hinsdale Central Red Devils

Coach: Nick Latorre

Conference: West Suburban Silver

Top players

Erin Bruns, junior

Jessica Lee, sophomore

Danielle Smith, senior

Selina Zeng, sophomore

Outlook: Last season, the Red Devils won regional and sectional titles on their way to a third place finish at the Class AA state tournament, and several players from that squad return this season.

Sophomore Selina Zeng, who carded a 157 at the state tournament last year and finished in a tie for 20th place, is back in the fold, as are state players Erin Bruns and Jessica Lee. Danielle Smith saw action in the regional tournament last year. With that quartet leading the way, Central has a chance to match last year’s achievements.

The Rockford Boylan tournament that kicked off the season Tuesday was one of several big invites on the schedule. The Providence Celtic Swing (Sept. 20) and Naperville North Invite (Sept. 27) lead up to the West Suburban Conference tournament on Oct. 1.

Hinsdale South Hornets

Coach: Julie Sweet

Conference: West Suburban Gold

Top players

Elle Casini, senior

Haley Flemm, senior

Jaclyn Hofstetter, junior

Nikita Menta, sophomore

Mikaela Soderholm, junior

Astrid Vargas, senior

Outlook: Four seniors graduated from last year’s team, including state tournament qualifier Sam Buddig.

The good news is six players – Elle Casini, Haley Flemm, Jaclyn Hofstetter, Nikita Menta, Mikaela Soderholm and Astrid Vargas – return with varsity experience.

Added experience will come this season in duals against teams like Naperville North, Hinsdale Central and Lyons Township and in tournaments at Joliet Central (Saturday), Downers Grove North (Aug. 30) and Providence (Sept. 20).

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