North Montgomery girl’s golf has experienced a lot of success in recent years, and the hope is to return the program to top form.
First-year coach Nick Johnson doesn’t want to go out and guarantee championships, but knows what it will take to see improvement from the recent past.
“I could say I want us to win every match and be contenders at conference,” he said. “But I think the big thing is to be competitive at every match.”
With four returning varsity players and three incoming freshmen, Johnson’s focus is finding consistency in the lineup.
“I don’t want to rely on one or two ladies to consistently shoot the same, but then see no improvement in spots 3-4-5 in the lineup,” he added. “I want to see consistency throughout the lineup, and as we go on I want to see 1-2 strokes cut per match.”
Chloe Maxwell and Abbie Horn return for their senior seasons as the Charger’s top two players. Maxwell qualified for the IHSAA Regional last season, but North Montgomery hasn’t qualified as a team since 2017 when they finished second in the sectional round.
Regaining prominence in the county and Sagamore Conference is on the radar too, as Southmont and Lebanon have emerged as the early teams to beat this season.
“I’m really leaning on my seniors to kind of motivate the freshmen and get them to understand what it takes to compete at this level,” Johnson said.
Sophomores Ella Stultz and Morgan Swick also return for their sophomore seasons. A combination of freshmen Grace Littell, Grace Shrader, and Maggie Yeager will round out the Charger’s lineup.
Johnson says the focus throughout the first week of practice has been cleaning up the short game.
“Where they really struggle is their short game,” he said. “So I’d really like to see their short game improve. I have three or four ladies who can really hit the ball off the tee, but once they get to their next shot it sometimes takes them two or three shots to get to the green from 50-60 yards. Short game and putting is really where we’ve been focusing right now, just because that is the majority of where strokes are lost.”
North Montgomery opens the season today at the Southmont Invitational at the Crawfordsville Country Club at 1 p.m.