Senior Jessica Grill welcomed several new faces to the top of the St. Charles North girls lineup this fall, as classmate Carly Hudon transferred from Sycamore and Gianna Furrie and Kate Lillie entered high school as standout freshmen.
Growing pains were few and far between from the time the season started, a trend that continued with Monday’s sizzling 314 team score that helped North to the Upstate Eight Conference title at St. Andrews.
“I’ve really enjoyed it because I get along with Carly, and the freshmen, they don’t feel like freshmen,” Grill said. “They just feel like my team. It’s kind of hard to explain, and I enjoy the difference.”
North’s conference score was the lowest in school history for an 18-hole tournament. Hudon and Lillie tied for fourth individually with separate 77s.
“I got with the right team. I feel like there’s teams out there where I would have been like, ‘I don’t know about this,’ but, yeah, they’re definitely making me feel comfortable here,” Hudon said recently. “All their personalities, they all opened up right away.”
SCC endurance test awaits
An unbalanced Suburban Christian Conference boys dual season gives way to the league’s ironman conference tournament on Friday and Saturday.
Marmion coach Doug Roberts realizes the two-day, 36-hole format is rare, and hopes a strong weekend at White Pines in Bensenville can catapult the Cadets to success at next week’s regionals.
“I’m hoping we can be really competitive,” Roberts said. “There’s some good teams this year. [Aurora Central Catholic] is playing really well this year and St. Francis has a solid squad, as well. Unfortunately, we don’t get an opportunity to see all the teams, but the ones we have seen – including Wheaton Academy – are good schools with good teams.”
Royals’ Phipps keeps rolling
Rosary senior Victoria Phipps will not have the chance to earn medalist honors at the Suburban Christian Conference girls meet, if only because one does not exist.
Still, her seven other medalist nods easily lead a Royals team bracing for the postseason.
“It’s her mental side of the game more than anything,” Royals coach Joe Hughes said. “Nothing ever riles her. Nothing ever gets her upset or too down on herself. She just … stays positive and plays good golf.”
Hughes said Phipps is “still pretty early” in her college search, but she has mentioned interest in Wisconsin-Oshkosh.
– Kevin Druley, email@example.com
IN THE GROOVE
What she did: Guyton was the top individual at Tuesday’s Northern Illinois Big 12 girls meet at Rochelle’s Fairways Golf Course, shooting an 85.
Age and youth
What happened: The St. Charles North girls team captured the Upstate Eight Conference title Tuesday behind 77s from Carly Hudon (senior) and Kate Lillie (freshman).
WHAT WE LEARNED LAST WEEK
The St. Charles North girls are coming together at the right time. Throughout the fall, North Stars coach Chris Patrick has stressed that while the team is making important strides, there still was the matter of seeing each scorer shine in the same round. The team did well toward that end Monday, setting a new program best for an 18-hole tournament with a 314 team score that paved the way to an Upstate Eight Conference title.
WHAT WE’LL LEARN IN THE WEEK AHEAD
Which Tri-Cities boys team reigns at today’s Upstate Eight Conference River Division meet at St. Andrews. An exciting dual season left Geneva unblemished, but not in the complete clear for a league title. The day also offers indirect competition between the River and Valley teams. “There’s no points, there’s no overall conference champion, but if someone shoots 310 and another 307 – OK, there you go,” St. Charles East coach John Stock said.
COACH SLY SEZ
We’re just at the start of conference tournament week, but boy, what a start it’s been.
The St. Charles North girls starred with an ensemble cast at the UEC meet at West Chicago. Kaneland junior Tori Guyton led the charge at the NI Big 12 girls meet in Rochelle.
More meets are on the docket today and later in the week. That can only mean more excitement, right?