Wando, Bishop England girls golf teams look to replace key members from previous season
The Wando girls golf team faces a tough task this season of replacing the talent of top golfer Ansley Vaughan, who is now playing at Converse College. The Warriors finished 14th at the 4A state tournament with Vaughan grabbing 17th individually – six strokes off of making the top 10.
Wando’s next best finisher, Savannah Hallmann, came in 43rd. Hallmann, now a senior, overcame a 101 in her first round to shoot 88 and vault up the leaderboard.
The classes are well distributed with three seniors, five juniors, three sophomores and a seventh grader. “It will be tough to replace Ansley,” first-year Wando girls golf coach Jason Brisini said, “but we have a lot of golfers who are up to the task.”
Brisini is a new face to the golf program but a familiar one at Wando. He was a football assistant coach for the past three years. Jason Sox is a first-year assistant coach.
The goals are simple, according to Brisini: become a team, win 4A Region 7, win the Lower State and finish in the top five at state.
“Our No. 1 strength is our depth,” he said. “We have 12 golfers who could step into any match at any time. Another strength is our work ethic. All 12 of our golfers come to practice ready to work and are very coachable. They are getting better each and every day.”
Wando’s schedule is erratic with some weeks having four matches and others with just one. No matter the schedule, Brisini is focused on steady improvement so the Warriors can challenge the state’s perennial golf contenders like Lexington and Spartanburg.
With most private schools struggling with enrollment numbers, let alone filling sports teams, the Bishop England girls golf team is enjoying high turnout.
Kathleen Sumner, was the Battling Bishops’ lone representative last season at the 3A state tournament. Competing as an eighth grader, she tied for 10th place with a pair of 80s.
“I have more girls who have signed up to play this year than I ever have in the past,” coach Christine Ronco said. The Bishops lost five seniors out of eight total players from last season’s group.
“I will definitely miss them,” Ronco said. “They had been a part of the team all four years.” This season, Bishop England’s roster is mixed with experienced golfers and rookies. “I have advanced golfers, who may shoot under par, as well as beginners – girls who have never picked up a golf club,” Ronco said. “I get excited to see what each girl contributes and how it makes the team stronger.”
Bishop England practices at Daniel Island Club and Patriots Point. The Bishops have 11 matches scheduled this season.