2023 Spring Sports Preview: Golf capsules for Greater Spokane League boys, girls teams
Mar. 17—From staff reports
Capsules for the boys and girls golf teams in the Greater Spokane League.
Central Valley: Boys: Three district qualifiers return for fourth-year coach Brain Spencer: seniors Brock Johnson and Mason Hughbanks and junior Andy Shumway. "We have a solid group of guys returning who all have GSL and tournament experience," Spencer said.
Girls: Rob Rowe enters his fifth year with three-year letter winner senior Darbie Anderson and junior Alivia Lanphere as his leaders. "We are a pretty young team working to improve our play," Rowe said.
Gonzaga Prep: Boys: Eight returners for coaches Dennis Doughery (27 years) and David McKenna (five), led by Alex Cook, the GSL MVP who finished second at state, and top-10 finisher Dillon Strock. Cook is headed to Grand Canyon University in the fall.
Lewis and Clark: Boys: Five starters and 10 letter winners return for coach Brett Meenach, starting his 10th season overall and fourth at LC. Three state qualifiers, all juniors, form the core: Jack Butler, Geo Pirrie and Henry Staples.
Girls: Coach Michelle Grafos enters her 18th season with the Tigers with a resume of a state title, three individual state champs and nine GSL titles. She has six returners, including sophomore Amanda Nguyen, who finished ninth at state and led LC to a fifth-place trophy. "We have a number of talented and athletic golfers on this year's team now with league/state playing experience," Grafos said. "We will be a force in the league again this season."
Cheney: Boys: Six starters return for coach Jeff Pike in his 28th season, led by seniors Alex Hinrichs and Jake Vallance and junior Evan Stinson, all coming off their basketball seasons. "We are a pretty young team with a lot of potential," Pike said. "I am very proud of this respectful and hard-working group."
Girls: Coach Gerald Morton, in his 20th season, has a young squad with two returners. The Blackhawks will be led by sophomores Elsa Bertelsen and Loraiza Canoto. "We have several girls that are showing great progress early in the season," Morton said. "Ready to get them outside to see what kind of talent they have."
Ferris: Boys: Second-year coach Ryan Lamb has three returners, including state qualifying juniors Patrick Luby and Ethan Miller and district qualifier senior Joey Cortner.
Girls: Fourth-year coach Laurie Smith has four returners, including junior Anna Morse, who qualified for state last season, and district qualifier senior Maddy Olson. "This is an amazing group of young ladies that are extremely coachable but also outstanding human beings on and off the course," Smith said.
Mead: Boys: Paul Peters returns for his 37th season as coach of the Panthers. He's led Mead to 13 GSL titles and four state championships, falling just short in adding to the total with last year's second-place finish. The senior triumvirate of Ben Jones, Benjamin Mulder and Bradley Mulder should have them there again.
Girls: The Panthers were GSL champs and placed eighth at state, but GSL MVP Taylor Mularski now plays at Gonzaga. First-team All-GSL junior Brooke Bloom and second-team senior Stella Elmore now take leadership roles — both players were state participants. "Expectations are high and the girls are excited," 12th-year coach Keith Ross said.
Mt. Spokane: Boys: The Wildcats were second at regionals last year and return four from the team for coach Terry Cloer in his second season. Junior Stetson Gilbert was first-team All-GSL and 21st at state while senior Johnny Molenda was 32nd. "If others step up like last year, we can qualify for state as a team," Cloer said.
Girls: Ryan Nelson's 22nd campaign, eighth with the Wildcats, starts with three returners, including first-team All-GSL and state qualifier Mia Bontrager.
North Central: Boys: Freshman Tiegen Brill is "one to watch out for," according to coach Jeff Tapp. Brill practices out of Kalispel Golf and Country Club and is a nationally ranked amateur "with an exciting future," his coach said.
Ridgeline: Boys: The Falcons were third in the league last season and return six starters for coach Nick Seaman. Junior Griffin Thorpe placed 32nd at state. "Our team doubled in size to 38 boys in our second year as a program with numerous young key newcomers that will continue to grow the Ridgeline program," Seaman said.
Girls: Five starters return for second-year coach Brittany Pounds, including leader Carolyn Rose, who qualified for state as a freshman last season. "We missed qualifying for districts by only five points but qualified four individuals," Pounds said. "I'm excited to see what this season will bring."
University: Boys: Juniors Caleb Walcott and Gavin Patterson are key returners for coach Joe Turman, entering his 17th season with the Titans. "We have a good core of returners," he said. "The additions from last year should be able to contribute this season."
Girls: Second-year coach Dan Dodge had a young team but two returners who should be pushing to reach state: seniors Elliana Broach and Alexandra Rule. "We are looking forward to see how the rest of the team fills out the remaining spots for league play," Dodge said.
Clarkston: Boys: Coach Brian Frazier, in his 27th season, has four starters back: senior Caleb Daniel and juniors Carson Sanders, Deion Thornton and Killian Snyder. "We have a lot of newer players to the game that are developing," Frazier said.
Girls: Paige Frazier enters her fifth season with the Bantams with three returners: seniors Hailey Mendenhall, Tierney McKarcher and Sammy Hudgins.
East Valley: Boys: Coach Adam Fisher starts his fifth season with five returners, including seniors Maddox Callihan and Jesse Stevens. "This will be our best team in the last five years," Fisher said. "We're gaining depth and kids who have player at a higher level than before."
Girls: Coach John Phelan takes over the girls team with three returners: seniors Shawnee Munns and Cece Syron and junior Kaiden Davis.
Pullman: Boys: The Greyhounds were second in the GSL last season and finished 10th at state. Five return from that team for third-year coach Parker Ruehl, including two sophomores who were top-25 at state: Parker Legried and Trae Frederickson. "The emergence of (Legried and Frederickson) as well as the improvement made by the rest of the varsity team has us in good position for the league title," Ruehl said.
Girls: Pullman placed second at state behind then-senior Lauren Greeny, who finished fourth individually. Four return from that team for eighth-year coach John Willy, including first-team All-GSL selections Ryliann Bednar and Mataline Rink. "Replacing Lauren is a tall task," Willy said. "I think our returners are up to the challenge to try to repeat as league champs."
Rogers: Boys: Shawn Carney is back for his 10th season coaching the boys team and 13th overall. He returns all five varsity players from last season including state qualifier junior Wyatt Hart.
Shadle Park: Boys: First-year coach Shannon Brown inherited a young squad. "We are in a rebuilding year, starting a lot of underclassmen," he said. Jonah Kern returns for the Highlanders.
West Valley: Boys: State qualifier junior Keason Silva and senior Kaleb Rydell lead coach Craig Whitney's squad. "We should be competitive," he said. "We're looking forward to seeing how we stack up."
Girls: Second-year coach Ty Brown has three junior returners, led by state qualifier Spencer Cerenzia, and will be sparked by freshman Melia Cerenzia. "The addition of Melia will be great," Brown said. "She and her sister are two of the top golfers in the city."