With a core nucleus returning to the links in 2013, the Laguna Beach High girls' golf team could be primed for a successful year.
The Breakers, led by Head Coach Scott Finn and Assistant Coach Sean Quigley, return five of six starters from a 2012 team that went 6-10 overall and finished tied for second place with Calvary Chapel in the Orange Coast League. Among those returnees are three all-league players.
The three all-league performers are senior Jackie McMahon and junior MaryKate Quellmalz, both first-team all-league selections, and junior Leslie Dwight who made second team.
Seniors Jamie Hendrickson and Audrey Curtis also started last year and return.
Senior Mandi Wisbaum and sophomores Murphy Thompson and Hailey McCullogh, also are back.
"We don't have any one or two dominant players on the team this year who can post really low scores. However, we have several players including all of our starters who are capable of playing consistently at an above-average level," Quigley said. "All the core players from our team last year are returning and they have all played in the league championship tournament They are experienced and understand the level of golf they need to play in order to win.
"I anticipate our league record to improve this year compared to last year. If the players all continue to improve in chipping and putting, I anticipate that we will make a run for the league championship."
To win the league title, Laguna will have to knock off defending champion Estancia.
"Estancia is the reigning champion and is probably the favorite again," Quigley said. "However, both Calvary Chapel and Laguna Beach are returning experienced teams. Both of these teams, along with Estancia, will be in a tight race to win the league this year."
The Breakers, who play their home matches at Aliso Creek Golf Course, began preparing for their upcoming season, which starts Sept. 10, by holding practice sessions three times per week since the start of the month.
Head Coach: Scott Finn
Coaching staff: Sean Quigley
2012 season results: 6-10 overall; tied for second in Orange Coast League.
Returning players: Jackie McMahon, Sr.; Jamie Hendrickson, Sr.; Audrey Curtis, Sr.; Leslie Dwight, Jr.; Marykate Quellmalz, Jr.; Mandi Wisbaum, Sr.; Murphy Thompson, Soph.; Hailey McCullogh, Soph.
Returning with honors: Jackie McMahon (first team all-league, Sr.); MaryKate Quellmalz (first team all-league, Jr.); Leslie Dwight (second team all-league, Jr.).
The schedule: "Our nonleague schedule is really tough," Quigley said. "We play Aliso Niguel, Dana Hills and Sage Hill. The girls will certainly see some good players on these teams and our goal with these matches is for our team to gain some insight about where they need to improve as players and as a team."
2013 Breakers Schedule