There is good and bad associated with both the Burroughs High and Burbank girls’ golf teams this season.
Although the Bulldogs have two of their best players back from a year ago, the team will be extremely thin with just five athletes.
For the Indians, they lost two of their top players to graduation and a third has decided not to come out for the team. Fortunately for Burroughs, it has a solid group of returners coming back.
Here is a closer look at how the teams are shaping up.
The Indians placed third in the Pacific League in 2011. Lost to graduation was Ravipa Losakul, who placed fourth in the league finals last year, and Jasmine Daniel, who finished 13th. Senior Tatiana Rizzotti, a soccer standout, has decided to forgo golf to concentrate on soccer.
“I essentially lost my one, three and four golfers from last season,” Burroughs Coach Greg Everhart said. “We are definitely not as strong as we were last year. We are going to be very young, and I have five freshmen who have come out. Hopefully, that will help us out in the future.”
The most successful returner for the Indians is junior Joany Gao, who placed fifth in league in 2011 and qualified for the CIF Southern Section Individual Regionals at River Ridge Golf Course in Oxnard.
“Joany has been to the CIF individuals the last two years and I look for her to do the same this year,” Everhart said. “I’m hoping she can stay where she was in league last year and maybe even move up to fourth or third. Or she may even be up there for first, who knows?”
Also returning are senior Alex Chandler and juniors Evyn Freedman, Stephanie Adachi and Tiffany Mirabal. Everhart said Adachi is the team’s most improved player by far.
New to the squad is a pair of freshmen: Samantha Mazo and Katy Kuoppala.
With tough competition in the Pacific League, Everhart said he hopes his squad will again be able to qualify for CIF competition.
“Arcadia is always going to be up there and I think [Crescenta Valley] might be able to give them a run for their money,” he said. “I’ve also heard that La Cañada has a super solid team.
“I think it’s going to be the three of them in the top three spots, and we have a really good chance to get fourth.”
With just two returners from last season, Bulldogs Coach Branco Sevic knows the going is going to be difficult for his team this season.
“We are just hoping to get better match to match,” Sevic said. “With just five players there’s just no margin for error at all.
“We don’t have a lot of high expectations this season. I just tell the girls to go out and have fun and hopefully we’ll be better next year.”
The two Burbank players who are returning enjoyed success last season. Sophomore Irene Maemura finished ninth in league and senior Tess Apinchapong placed 13th.
“We have a pretty good 1-2 punch with Irene and Tess,” Sevic said. “I expect both of them to contend for playoff spots as individuals this year. But other than that, we are really young. We are going to be very inexperienced and we don’t have the depth.”
New to the team are freshman Alexis Poche and sophomores Susie Miller and Caitlin McGrath.
Like Everhart, Sevic said he expects Arcadia, Crescenta Valley and La Cañada to emerge as the top three teams in league.