Ready to take a drive

Ty Stott heads into the fall girls golf season with high expectations for Polk County’s squad.

“I think this could be the best team we’ve had in the last six years, the best team since Mary Hemphill was on the team,” said Stott, referring to the 2008 squad that featured three-time state qualifier Hemphill.

“I know we’ve got three players that can be good and have a decent chance at putting up a good score, which is nice since we turn in our best three scores.”

The Wolverines will begin play on Thursday, hosting Hendersonville, Mountain Heritage, Owen and Avery in a Western Highlands Conference match at Tryon Country Club. That will give Stott not only a first look at the rest of the WHC, but a first look at his team in competition.

2014 Polk County girls golf schedule

The senior-laden squad is led by Ashley Kropp, who qualified for the state 2A/1A tournament last season.

“Ashley has a good chance to go low every match,” Stott said. “It’s nice that she got to go to state as a junior, because she can build on that exposure as a senior. I think she has the chance to put up some good scores this season.”

Senior Lindy Desmarins and junior Caitlin Britton could join Kropp as the team’s top three players at many matches. Seniors Rachel Osborn and Carolyn Couch also return, giving Stott a roster on which each player has at least one year of varsity experience.

“They’ve all played at least one year, not just one of them,” Stott said. “We’ve had that before, but possibly having five where this is not a new experience is rare for us.

“The key for all the girls is consistency. I guess that’s the story for anyone that plays golf. The main thing I am trying to help them with is learning how to get out of trouble and just trying to be consistent.”