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Tough Tigers

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File photoThe Triton Central golf team won the Indiana Crossroads Conference title last season.
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The Triton Central golf team won the Indiana Crossroads Conference title last season.
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File photoTriton Central senior Elizabeth Kemper putts during a match last season.
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Triton Central senior Elizabeth Kemper putts during a match last season.

By KRIS MILLS - kmills@shelbynews.com

FAIRLAND — With a full offseason spent at its newly-developed golf facility, the Triton Central girls’ golf team is anxious to get out and play.

The girls did play some rounds at real courses during the summer months, yes, but being able to individually work on different aspects of their games in the school's backyard was extremely valuable, according to TC head coach Michael Buck.

“We have some good kids out this year and some good athletes. The girls were having their own workouts this summer,” Buck said. “It is awesome when you can get players that motivated.

“With our facility, we are set up for success. It is on the coaches now.”

Sydney Bass and Hollie Duncan were lost to graduation but TC does return experienced players. Senior Elizabeth Kemper, who qualified for regional play as a junior, is back to lead the team. Kemper played on the Indiana Jr. Golf Tour again this summer and won the Indiana Junior Championship at Eagle Creek on July 22, shooting a 79.

“It is hard to replace Sydney Bass, but I think we have more depth elsewhere,” Buck said. “Hollie, she was the star of our conference meet last year. Those are two kids who were tremendous leaders. I miss those two like you wouldn’t believe.

“I think Elizabeth has moved to the next level. She is going to be a great leader, but she is just a next-level golfer for us. Even on a bad day, she is shooting in the 80’s. She has put a lot of 70’s under her belt this summer. She expects that and we expect that. She is always the last one to leave practice."

Senior Kristy Gregory is also back, giving TC another reliable scorer and leader.

"Kristy brought her sister and her mom out (to golf facility) during the summer and was really working on her game,” Buck said.

Junior Morgan Shilling played last season and returns to the varsity lineup. Senior Megan Rowen and sophomore Kendra Erdmann are also on the team this year.

“Megan hasn’t played since the eighth grade,” Buck said. “I wish she was younger, because she is looking good. She will do well for us and will fight for the two through four positions with Morgan and Kristy.

“Erdmann played junior varsity for us last year and gained some tournament experience this summer. She is looking better and better.”

Buck, who jokingly said he just “drives the bus”, will be assisted by Karen O’Neill this season. O’Neill leads the boys’ team at TC and has been around both programs for several seasons. O’Neill is the mother of Megan and Drew Rowen. Drew, a sophomore at TC, was named Shelby News’ Boys Golf Co-Player of the Year last season as a freshman. 

“I can’t say this enough, I have never worked with a better coach than Karen O’Neill,” Buck said. “It is amazing what she can do with these kids.”

Last season, TC won the Indiana Crossroads Conference title. The Tigers also broke the school record with a 172 team score in a meet against Southwestern. Kemper owns the individual school record for nine holes (35), which she shot last season.

Triton Central begins its new campaign Saturday at the Greensburg Invitational.

Kris Mills is the Sports editor of The Shelbyville News. Follow Kris on Twitter @KrisMills37.