FORT MILL --
The 2012 ladies golf season starts this week as both Fort Mill and Nation Ford return a good group of players.
Fort Mill is back with all of its starters from last year’s squad.
The Lady Jackets have Olivia Koontz, who played No. 1 for them last season, back this year as well as Randi Smith, Alex O’Neil and Catherine Blum, all battling for the top five spots.
“We have a good nucleus coming back,” said head coach Steve Gribble. “We need to improve over last year. There are some teams that are really strong in our region.”
Now that Fort Mill is back in 4A, they will still have to contend with South Pointe, which pushed them last year, as well as York, but will also have to content with squads like Lancaster this season.
“Lancaster will be strong,” Gribble said. “But we have made some improvements as well.”
The Lady Jackets have two new additions to the team this year, including a seventh-grader.
Fort Mill starts the season off Sept. 4 at the Palmetto Preview at Mid-Carolina Country Club.
Nation Ford brings in former Clover High golfer Mary Gover this year to guide the Lady Falcons.
Gover, a PE teacher at Gold Hill Elementary School, will have four returners from last year’s squad, including the Lady Falcons’ No. 1 player, Nancy Holland.
“They look good,” Gover said of her first year squad. “I’m hoping for the best. They look strong. I am excited about the season. I have high hopes for all five of them.”
Nation Ford will most likely play two seniors and three sophomores this year, giving them some depth to hold onto into the future. Besides Holland, Jasmine Saab is the other senior, followed by sophomores Shannon Maguire, Jordyn Zaino and Erin Mathis.
“We are an experienced team,” Gover added.
Gover said she feels South Pointe will be the team to beat for this season within the region.
Nation Ford starts its season this week at Lancaster.
This year’s Region tournament will be held at Spring Lake Golf Course in York Oct. 16 followed by the Upper State tournament Oct. 22 at Smithfield Country Club in Easley. The top four teams at the region tournament will qualify for the Upper State tournament.
The 4A state tournament will be held at Lexington Country Club Oct. 29-30.