Seven out of eight varsity starters return from the 2010-2011 PAC-10 champion girls' golf squad, with only Gina Vandenburg missing from the lineup. The girls team has only existed for four years, with head coach Patty Lebow at the helm. This year could be the best year yet for the Rams given the improvements made over the summer by many of the girls.
"We’ve come a long way from the beginning to now," said Lebow. "When I first started, we had eight girls, and have had eight to 12 girls the past three years. This year we have 17. It’s really becoming more popular."
Last year's team made some big strides, especially with the championship win, but three girls also made it to districts, including now senior leader Madison [Maddy] Gilmartin, who made it to day two.
Another huge accomplishment for the girls was beating Villa Maria Academy twice during the season, which they had yet to do prior to last year. They look to improve upon that win by stepping up to challenge teams like Radnor, or Mount Saint Joseph, which has won state championships in the past.
"All-in-all, I think the season was very successful," Lebow said. "We’ve just been getting better and better as we go along. It’s just taken time. The boys grow up knowing golf. Girls don’t grow up knowing golf, typically. When they come to us, they really don’t have much background."
Gilmartin is the only one with major childhood experience. She trained in the volunteer program, First Tee, which helps kids learn the game of golf at a young age. She hopes to go on and get a Division I scholarship after this year.
Other than Gilmartin, Lebow paid homage to juniors Alyssa Cominsky, Mikayla Koenck and Danielle Freed, as well as senior Jen Jordan.
"Alyssa’s family belongs to the country club, so she’s had some experience there," said Lebow. "Danielle joined as a junior member this year by herself. She played almost every day this summer, I bet. It was incredible and her game is showing it. She really has improved. Then we have Mikayla, who has also played a lot in the summer and played in a league. I think she’ll be good. Jen Jordan is the other senior. She can hit the ball at times. I’m looking forward to her shooting some lower scores this year."
Overall, the big goal for the girls this year is to improve scores by five to 10 strokes and to reclaim the division crown. The girls are well on their way with a 2-0 start, defeating and . Lebow is looking forward to what's to come and really enjoys coaching the Rams.
"I love doing this," said Lebow. "It’s something that I kind of fell into at the right time. By the time I was finished up with traveling with my daughter, who played softball in college, this opened up and Mr. [Mickey] McDaniel mentioned it to me. It fell into the right time for me to get involved in something else. I do love being here and helping the girls."
Spring-Ford High School Girls' Golf 2011-2012 Schedule
8/22 - Home/Season Opener vs. Downingtown East (W)
8/24 - Away @ Marian Catholic H.S. (W)
8/30 - Away @ Great Valley (3:30 p.m.)
9/1 - TBA
9/6 - Away @ Boyertown (3:00 p.m.)
9/8 - Home vs. Perkiomen Valley (3:00 p.m.)
9/10 - Central Dauphin Girls' Golf Classic (1:00 p.m.)
9/12 - Away @ Downingtown East (3:00 p.m.)
9/13 - Away @ Radnor (3:30 p.m.)
9/15 - Away @ Phoenixville H.S. (3:00 p.m.)
9/19 - Away @ Perkiomen Valley (3:00 p.m.)
9/21 - Home vs. Great Valley (3:00 p.m.)
9/22 - Home vs. Radnor (3:30 p.m.)
9/26 - PAC-10 Individual Tournament (8:00 a.m.)
9/29 - Home vs. Villa Maria Academy and TBA (2:30 p.m.)
10/3 - Home vs. Phoenixville H.S. (3:00 p.m.)
10/4 - Home vs. Boyertown (3:00 p.m.)
10/6 - TBA
10/11 - District One Team Championship (8:00 a.m.)
10/17 - PIAA Regional Team Championship (9:00 a.m.)
10/24 - PIAA State Team Championship (9:00 a.m.)
10/25 - PIAA State Team Championship (9:00 a.m.)