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TELL CITY - More depth should help Tell City's girls golf team this year.
The Marksmen have eight girls on their roster, the most in eight years.
Last year they started the season with five girls and had only three - one short of the requirement for a team score - compete in the PAC and sectional matches.
All three of those players return, including senior Amber Thomas, a fourth-year starter.
She shot a season-best 42 against Bosse at Evansville's Fendrich course last year.
Thomas "can hit the ball a long, long way," said Coach Jim Meek. "She has the potential to be on (the green on) any par-5 in two (strokes)."
Meek said Thomas is also probably the team's best putter, though improved consistency there could be the key to how far she goes this season.
"She has the potential to do well in the conference and get out of the sectional," said Meek.
The other returnees from last year's postseason matches are sophomore C.J. Fentress and senior Megan Neyenhaus.
Fentress was the team's No. 2 scorer last year.
A 56 on the front nine of the Jasper sectional was her best nine-hole score of the season. But "she's a lot more consistent at striking the ball" this year, said Meek. "I expect her to improve by five strokes a nine."
Britney Hendershot was usually the Marksmen's fourth or fifth player last year (though she had other commitments the days of the conference and sectional matches) and also returns.
Freshmen Jessica Ballman and Amber Fentress are pushing for a spot in the top four. "They were both in my junior program, which is starting to pay off," said Meek.
Lindsay Noble and Stephanie Newton, two upperclassmen out for the team for the first time, complete the roster.
"They're beginners," said Meek.
But he plans to let them play in some varsity matches. "We'll probably rotate the last four girls in varsity matches," said Meek.
Teams can play up to six players in most regular-season matches.
The Marksmen went 0-8 when they had enough players for a team score last year, but Meek hopes to improve on that record this year.
"I think my four returnees are going to be pretty consistent," he said. "I expect us to score better than last year - we'll just have to see where everybody else is.
"If we could win half our matches, I would be ecstatic."