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The Journal Gazette

  • Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette Junior Morgan Dabagia and her younger sister, Madison, will play key roles in Homestead's success this season, which starts today.

Monday, July 30, 2018 1:00 am

5 to watch season preview

Elizabeth Wyman | The Journal Gazette

With the first area invitational teeing off today, girls golf is the first IHSAA sport back in season. Three area teams placed in the top 15 in the state last season and the road to the finals at Prairie View Golf Club in Carmel is sure to be a competitive one in 2018.

Here's a glance at who and what to watch:

Individuals

Madeleine Pape, Bishop Luers: Pape finished tied for 39th place at state last season with a two-day score of 21-over 165, including a first-round 79.

Gabby Kelly, Angola: After advancing to state as a individual her sophomore year, Kelly tied for 53rd place, going 31 over, including an opening 87.

Sydney Rybolt, Homestead: As the only returning senior who played varsity last year, it will be up to Rybolt to lead the pack if Homestead is to compete for state.

Ally Stuckey, DeKalb: The junior finished 95th in state last year after combining for a 203. She will lead the team this season without her sisters, twins Lexy and Bayley.

Anna Munson, Leo: As the No. 1 golfer as a sophomore, Munson made it to regionals as an individual, where she posted an 11-over 81 at Noble Hawk Golf Links in Kendallville.

Teams

Homestead: Coming off a season in which it earned its best finish ever in the state finals, placing fifth with 657 strokes, Homestead lost a lot of talent to graduation: Makenna Hostetler, who tied for 20th place in state, and Emma Schroeder, who tied for 29th.

Dwenger: Finishing 13th in state with 725 strokes, the Saints are losing one of last season's best area players in Sarah Frazier. After graduating four of the nine players, including the top three golfers, and only returning one senior, it's a rebuilding year for Dwenger.

DeKalb: Shooting a 761 at state last year, DeKalb finished 15th. After losing its top two state finishers in Lexy and Bayley Stuckey, the Barons will be led by seniors Sarah Williams and Marie Burton, and junior Ally Stuckey. Last season, DeKalb finished second at regionals with a score of 317, placing nine strokes better than Dwenger.

Leo: Finishing fourth in the sectional with a 398, coach Paul Newberg has four of last season's top five golfers returning.

Angola: With a strong third place finish in sectionals with a score of 374, Angola returns junior Gabby Kelly.

Storylines

Double Dabagia: Homestead's junior Morgan Dabagia made the all-state team last year after finishing tied for 25th at state. Her younger sister, Madison, will be a freshman on the team this year. They are already established as two of the best amateur golfers in Fort Wayne.

Spartans moving on: Last year's seniors Emma Shroeder and Makenna Hostetler, will be moving on to the next level, playing collegiate golf at Purdue Fort Wayne and Indiana Wesleyan, respectively.

Early start: After only three official days gathering as a team, Homestead hosts the area's first tournament today at Chestnut Hills.

City golf: Current and recently graduated high school golfers in the area flooded this year's Fort Wayne Women's Golf Association City Tournament, including top-10 finishes from Sarah Frazier, Makenna Hostetler, Sydney Rybolt , Brooke Moser, Jaycee Brunner and Madison Dabagia, who was named junior champion.

Area drought: The last state medalist the area has had in girl's golf was Emily Johnson from Warsaw in 2006-07. Johnson also won in 2003-04.

ewyman@jg.net