"Obviously, I don't concern myself a whole lot with our record," said first-year head coach Rich Cullison. "The girls are having a good time and they're doing what they can do. When you have a team of mostly beginning golfers and you're competing against the rest of the district … there are really only one or two teams that are equal to us because they also have a number of beginning golfers."
Junior Alyssa DiVincent, a talented golfer and enthusiastic mentor to many of her teammates, leads the team both in scoring and morale. Her eight-over-par 44 was the low score in last Thursday's win over the Pirates.
"Alyssa has played with us before and she's doing a really good job," said Cullison. "She's done a lot this summer in her development as a golfer and she's anxious to share that with the other girls. I have not assigned a team captain yet, but it will probably be Alyssa - she's a dominant leader and the rest of the girls look up to her."
Cullison already sees vast improvements in many of his young golfers' games this season, and expects the group to continue to improve as the year progresses. With only two seniors on the squad, this Liberty team is filled with youth and potential, some of which might not be realized until future seasons.
Classmate Chandell Groves and a pair of freshmen, Kastyn Sugimoto and Lauren Prince, join DiVincent in the Liberty top-four. Prince shot a 53 against Pittsburg, while Sugimoto carded a 55 and Groves finished up at 65.
"Those three are really a coin-flip in terms of who's second, third and fourth. Chandell has tremendous power. Last time she played, she hit the green - she hit a 180- or 190-yard shot, which none of the other girls can do. She has tremendous strength and potential. Lauren and Kas are both young players and bring the team a lot of potential for the future."
Cullison took over as head coach of the team this season after the previous coach, Rich Quintana, passed away suddenly this spring. Although Cullison doesn't consider himself a true expert golfer, he was more than willing to step in and make sure that the girls got the most out of this season.
"I just want the girls to have a good time and enjoy the sport," explained Cullison. "I don't anticipate that we're going to have a lot of wins, so there are things that I want the girls to accomplish for themselves - like Paige's chipping in from off the green with her parents there to see it - that's an exciting thing for me. Those are the kinds of things I want the girls to experience."