They're young. They're inexperienced. But armed with athletic talent, there's good cause for the Carson High School girls golf team to look ahead to its coming season with optimism.
"We're pretty young, so it's kind of like going back to the drawing board, I guess," Carson coach Paul Croghan said. "We do have some pretty good athletes, and even as important as playing experience is, it always helps if you're a good athlete. I imagine we'll be going through some growing pains for a while, but I think the future looks bright."
The Senators shot a team total of 551 in their season opener last Friday at Ruby View Golf Course in Elko, good for an eighth-place finish among 14 teams. Galena shot 448 to win the match by 23 strokes ahead of runner-up Elko.
Sophomore Ciarra Christian shot 88 to finish as the leading individual for Carson. Christian is the team's only returning regular from last season.
"That was a good round for Ciarra. She played a lot of basketball over the summer, so she hasn't had a lot of time to work on her golf game," said Croghan, who doubles as Carson's head girls basketball coach. "Last year was her first year of golf and she's come a long way. I think she shot 101 or 102 up at Elko last year, so this showed how far she's come.
"If she keeps improving, I think she's going to have a good shot at going to state."
Sophomore Lindsay Farnworth provided another highlight for Carson as she carded a 102 that was the team's second best score.
"That was the first 18-hole round Lindsay had ever played in her life, so that was pretty good," Croghan said.
Ashley Faber, the only senior in Carson's program, shot 118.
"She played last year, but this was the first time she's played in a tournament, so I look for her to improve a lot," Croghan said.
Gabrielle Gallegos shot 120 and Liz Rankl 123 to round out the scoring and junior Megan Good shot a non-scoring 142 for the Senators.
The Northern 4A schedule resumes next Tuesday with a match at Sierra Sage Golf Course in Reno. The season concludes with the 36-hole region tournament Oct. 12-13 at Eagle Valley Golf Course in Carson City. Eight teams will qualify for the regional and four teams will qualify for the 4A state tournament.
"Making state as a team is going to be a long-shot, but we have a good shot of being one of the eight (teams to qualify for the regional)," Croghan said, adding that Eagle Valley Golf Course head pro Terry Gingell has been assisting the team. "If they keep getting better week by week, then we could end up having a pretty good season."