As the lone state qualifier back for both city schools, Leslie Short faces high expectations.
"If she puts her mind to it, she can do some good things," second-year LHS coach Mike Lewis said. "A lot of girls look up to her as the leader. She can definitely fill that role."
Short is the lone senior and clear No. 1 golfer for the Lions, who will open today at the nine-hole Olathe North Invitational at Sunflower Hills.
Short, who last year was the Lions' first state qualifier since 1995, finished 24th at state with a 93.
"I would definitely expect her to qualify for state again as an individual," Lewis said. "She didn't play particularly well that day at state."
Short will be joined by sophomores Susan Lawhorn, Diane Riat, Val Weisner and Hayley Griffith at today's opener. LHS has 11 girls on their roster, and eight are sophomores.
"They made a lot of progress last year," Lewis said. "A lot of girls who came out as freshmen didn't know anything about golf. Now they're shooting in the 50s for nine holes."
Lawrence will hold two tournaments on Sept 12 at Alvamar and Oct. 1 at LCC.
Johnson No. 1 for Free State
For the first time in school history, Free State won't have Lauren Phlegar to count on for low golf scores.
Phlegar, a four-year letter winner and state runner-up last year, is now a freshman at Kansas University.
"You don't replace her," FSHS coach Steve Grant said. "She was always in the low 80s and a pretty special golfer. Team-wise we won't drop off a whole lot because we figure to get better. If the other kids would knock off two or three strokes, we'll be right there. Kids realize Lauren is not around anymore and have to step up a notch."
Junior Ashley Johnson is Free State's No. 1 golfer heading into the Firebirds' opener at Olathe North Invitational.
"She's played pretty well in practice rounds with rounds in the 40s," Grant said of Johnson, who was fifth at league last year when FSHS won the team title. "She's pretty methodical, and has a real good mental game. She doesn't get upset if she doesn't hit a bad shot. She's pretty good off the tee."
Junior Krystal Giesel, senior Leah Tacha, sophomore Molly Flavin and junior Bree Beasley will join Johnson at the opener.
"Krystal has played a lot a lot," Grant said. "She works out at Eagle Bend and is always around the course."
FSHS will play host to the Firebird Invitational on Sept. 5 at Eagle Bend.