The Washington girls golf team is enthusiastic about its season.



Four experienced players look to keep the Lady Panthers on an upward arc.


The Washington girls golf team is enthusiastic about its season.

Four experienced players look to keep the Lady Panthers on an upward arc.

“We’re relying heavily on upperclassmen to lead the way,” WCHS head coach Matt Reiser said.

Seniors Mackenzie Barker, Ellen Corbin and Brianna Salmi and junior Morgan Elmore all are back from a squad that finish third in the Mid-Illini Conference, its best standing ever.

Barker, who is one of the better golfers in the area this fall, was the league tournament medalist in a first-team all-conference season as a junior.

She previously was a second-team all-M-I honoree in her first two years.

Corbin made second-team all-conference a year ago.

Barker and Corbin both are looking at colleges. They both would like to play the sport at the next level, which would be terrific for the program.

Four freshmen — Nicole Maxheimer, Ashley Leavitt, Erika Anderson and Kaitlyn Freeman — also are in the mix, with two of them fitting into varsity positions.

The group has been working on their swings and brushing up on rules.

Reiser said last week Maxheimer was in the fifth slot and Leavitt had a chance for the No. 6 role.

Washington was scheduled to face East Peoria Tuesday at Quail Meadows Golf Course in the league opener.

Dunlap came to Fairlakes Golf Course Thursday for the first home match.

As the first day of school draws closer, the team would like to add a couple players. There currently are no sophomores.

“I hope to find a few more to fill in the missing years,” said Reiser.

While the top-four golfers likely will carry the Lady Panthers, any improvements they get from the last two spots not only will help the 2011 team, but also the future.

Washington’s schedule is the same as last year, including a return to the Stillman Valley Invitational.

The Lady Panthers will play at Metamora Fields Golf Club, which opened earlier this year, in a Sept. 20 dual against Metamora.

Dunlap is the host of this year’s conference tournament at Donovan Golf Course.

In the M-I, Pekin is shooting for a fifth consecutive championship. Morton appears to be a threat again after going 7-0 in duals a season ago.

Washington and Dunlap, which retained Lexi Hammerton, also hope to mount challenges.

“We’re excited to get it going,” said Reiser of his  squad.