BY SAM SCINTA WEEKLY REPORTER
One of the many difficulties facing high school and college coaches in any sport is dealing with the rate of turnover on your roster. In most seasons, teams lose key players to graduation, and that can hamper them from repeating the successes of the year before.
O’Fallon Girl’s Golf Head Coach Chris Eddy does not have that problem in 2016. He returns with four juniors who all contributed to their 2015 State Finals run, where the Panthers finished 12th.
“We return the four ladies that got us to State last year, so that’s definitely a luxury,” Eddy told the Weekly. “They put in a lot of hard work over the Spring and Summer, and we have high expectations for ourselves, even with the tougher schedule.”
The team has an opportunity that few teams get, which is to compete for the State Championship for three consecutive years with the same core.
“It was really impressive that we were able to place 12th in State last season starting four sophomores,” Eddy said. “Now, they’re hungry. They learned what it takes to get to that stage, now they have to take the next step and not just get back but contend with some of those teams around the state.”
The Panthers are widely expected to be among the area’s elite AA teams, but it’s being able to compete with the traditional powers from the greater Chicagoland area, and more specifically, Hinsdale Central, who has placed in the top three the past three seasons and has won the past two State Titles.
O’Fallon will wield a talented team this season, featuring five juniors and one freshman. Briana McMinn joins the program while Alyssa McMinn, Emily Marrs, Brooke Boatman, and Natalie Meinkoth, and Liz Boehning all return to lead a team with increased experience and drive to excel when it counts this fall.