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Tough schedule helps strengthen Islanders girls golf
Three consecutive KingCo titles. A winning streak of 33 matches. The Mercer Island girls golf squad is a team eager to prove they can do it again, but this year there’s a twist. They will face a tougher schedule and tougher teams this year — on purpose.
Head coach Don Papasedero said this season the team is going to be taking on tougher opponents with a stronger schedule.
“We’re facing our most challenging schedule,” said the coach. “We’re playing the very best 4A and 3A schools the state has to offer, and I think we have a very strong team.”
This season the team is captained by Kayce Ogishima and Sarah Peterson, both seniors. Peterson said the early season has gone really well, and they hope it will be another strong season for Mercer Island.
“It looks like it’s going to be a really promising season,” she said.
The Islanders boast one of the largest girls teams in the state with 20 varsity members, and they hope those numbers will help them get to the one place the team hasn’t been in a while — the state championship. After a second-place finish last year, Papasedero said with a few of the right breaks this season, he feels the team has a really good chance to win it all.
The Islanders have matches against Mount Si and Bellevue circled on their league schedule this season, but will also face Redmond and Newport, as well as Spokane’s Central Valley, all teams finishing in the top 10 of the state 4A contest last spring.
“They are 4A state powers,” said Papasedero. After four years on a waiting list to compete at the Burlington Invitation in Mount Vernon later this spring, the Islanders will finally get their shot at that tough field.
Peterson said she’s excited to take on Mount Si, largely because she knows several of the girls on the team and it has been a fun competition over the years. She’s also excited to play at the new state course in Spokane, should the Islanders make the competition.
“The past two years it was in the Tri-Cities and this year it’s in Spokane and I’m really excited for that,” she said.
As a captain, Peterson said this season, she and Ogishima have been focused on team bonding, and making sure the team is having fun.
“This year we’ve done a really good job of bringing everyone together and it’s really fun,” said Peterson. “We have a really good group of girls. I think if everybody has fun, I’ll be happy. The goal coming in to being a captain senior year, was to just make sure everyone was friends and everyone supported each other. I think we’ve done a really good job of that so far.”
The Islanders will face Mount Si, at the Mount Si course on May 2, and will travel to the Burlington Invitation at the Mount Vernon Country Club on April 18.
3/16 RHS Invitation at Bear Creek CC
3/21 Skyline at Jefferson GC
3/28 Inglemoor at Inglewood CC
3/30 Interlake at Jefferson GC
3/31 SU Clinic at Jefferson GC
4/12 Bellevue at Bellevue Municipal
4/14 Liberty at Jefferson GC
4/18 Burlington Invitational at Mount Vernon CC
4/20 Sammamish at Bellevue Municipal
4/26 Juanita at Wellington Hills
4/28 Lake Washington at Jefferson
4/29 Central Valley (Spokane) at Liberty Lake
5/2 Mount Si at Mount Si
5/4 Florescent Scramble at Jefferson
5/9 KingCo at Snohomish GC
5/16 Districts at Riverbend
5/22-5/25 State at Liberty Lake