The Burroughs High and Burbank girls' golf teams are dealing with different predicaments as far as numbers are concerned with the 2014 season rapidly approaching.
The Indians will feature a large squad with no seniors.
"We are really a sophomore-heavy squad this season," Burroughs Coach Greg Everhart said. "We are going to be inexperienced for sure. But it's because of that inexperience that we're probably going to carry 14 girls, so we can give them a chance and see who is going to be able to emerge. …This is the biggest number I've ever kept for a team."
At Burbank, it is also all about numbers. Unfortunately, the Bulldogs don't have them.
"We might have six or seven players at the most, I'm still not sure" coach Branco Sevic said. "We just haven't been getting the numbers out and that's kind of frustrating.
"And really I don't know why that is? We live in a community with a golf course and more kids are playing more golf these days, so I don't know why our numbers have been down."
The teams won't have much more time to prepare for the season, as the Bulldogs and Indians open their campaigns with the first Pacific League match Sept. 2 at the La Cañada Golf Course.
Here is a close look at how the teams are shaping up.
The Indians are coming off a season in which they placed third in the Pacific League behind champion Arcadia and runner-up Crescenta Valley. However, Burroughs lost some key contributors from that squad.
The biggest loss was the graduation of senior Joany Gao. The All-Area honoree had a fine season, advancing to the CIF Southern Section Individual Final and Women's Southern California Golf Assn. Qualifying Tournament.
"With some of those losses, it's certainly a rebuilding year for us," Everhart said. "We are just so young and I don't have any seniors at all. So, we are going to have to see how this group performs and how much better the players will get.
"What is good about having a young team like this is that they are going to be around for a few years and that should be good for us in the future."
The captain of the team will be a returner, sophomore Katrina Villareal. Joining her among the group of sophomores will be Ashley Phelps, Maddy Riggs and Raelin Arnold. Two juniors who could make an impact are Sam Mazo and Katy Kuoppala.
A new player who Everhart has high hopes for is freshman Annie Adachi, whose sister Stephanie played in the program.
"The good thing about this group is that they have been practicing really hard in the summer so they can get better," Everhart said. "I'm just hoping that the hard work is going to pay off."
In the league race, Everhart said he expects Arcadia and Crescenta Valley to again field strong teams.
"It's hard to tell exactly what the league makeup is going to be," he said. "But I really feel it's going to be tight between Arcadia and CV. Also, I think San Marino might be strong as well. So, I'm really excited to see what happens in the first league match.
For the second straight season, the Bulldogs have suffered from low numbers. Last season, Burbank struggled to put together a complete team and as a result placed last in the Pacific League.
"Of the small number of girls that we do have, several are very inexperienced," Sevic said. "The girls we do have are out there, they're having fun and they're putting in the work. Unfortunately, we just don't have that many of them."
On a positive note, the Bulldogs have perhaps the best returning player in league in senior Irene Maemura. In 2013, Maemura, an All-Area selection, advanced to the CIF Southern Section Individual Final and Women's Southern California Golf Assn. Qualifying Tournament, missing the cut to move on by one stroke. In addition, Maemura placed third in the Pacific League after firing a 75 at the league finals.
"This is the fourth year on varsity for Irene, so she knows what to expect and she's been there before," Sevic said. "She has spent her summer playing all around the country so hopefully she will be able to use that experience this season.
"She has some good colleges looking at her, so that's nice."
Another key returner for Burbank is junior Alexis Poche, who begins her third year of varsity play.
Also back is senior Caitlyn Brooks. Brooks is better known for another sport at Burbank, as she is a standout pitcher for the softball team, earning All-Area Player of the Year and Burbank Leader Female Athlete of the Year accolades this past season.
"I'll tell you what; she hits the ball farther than any girl I've ever seen," Sevic said of Brooks. "She is just so strong and she just has that softball swing power. She is fun to watch sometimes."
Two newcomers who could contribute right away are freshman Amy Tran and Erin Tanner.
"In league, Arcadia, CV and San Marino should all be good," Sevic said. "Arcadia lost some players and CV lost some players, so just seeing how they are going to reload is the question."
Follow Jeff Tully on Twitter: @jefftsports.