GREENVILLE — The Greenville High School girls varsity golf team has been one of the most consistent and successful teams in the state for more than 10 years.
The Yellow Jackets routinely win league titles, advance in the state tournament, place in the top 10 at the state finals and earn multiple individual honors on the golf course.
This year, if the Yellow Jackets are to continue the success, they will do so with a young team.
Greenville returns four letter winners from a year ago in Karli Didion, Amanda Kerschen, Taylor Hansen and Anne Hilt. All four are juniors.
Gone from a year ago are Britta Bernth (now playing at Florida Southern), Jessica Bohner (playing for Aquinas) and Lauryn Day (attending University of Alabama). All three were O-K Bronze All-Conference, while Bernth earned Division 2 All-State honors.
“This team has a tremendous amount of dedication and determination,” Greenville coach Nancy Johnson said. “They have a strong desire to carry on the success that the Greenville girls golf teams have had in the past.
“This group of girls is showing that they will play as individuals on the golf course, but at the close of the match, they will stand together as a team supporting and encouraging their teammates,” she added.
Didion is Greenville’s low returning scorer. She averaged 50.2 during league play and shot a nine-hole best of 44 at The Links at Bowen Lake last year.
Greenville’s decade-long streak of conference titles (then in the O-K White) ended last season when Forest Hills Eastern took home top honors. Eastern won its second Division 3 state title in two seasons last year.
“We made a strong effort to capture the league championship last year and came close several times to beating Eastern during jamborees,” Johnson said. “We did beat Eastern at the post conference tournament and took away the season sweep from them.”
The Yellow Jackets placed 10th at the Division 2 state finals at The Meadows at Grand Valley State University last year. Muskegon Mona Shores won its fourth consecutive state title in 2012.
Johnson believes this team can return to the state finals.
“We are hosting the regional tournament this year and will come up against Mona Shores again,” she said. “With the determination of this team, I believe we can capture the regional title and continue the tradition of making it to the Division 2 state finals.”
As for the conference race, Eastern will again be tough.
“They have two returning letter winners and we have four,” Johnson said. “It will be a battle, but it is a friendly rivalry among girls.”
Greenville’s season begins on Wednesday with its annual two-day Traverse City Central Invitational. They return home on Thursday and will compete at the Jenison Invitational on Friday.