Jul. 24—LONDON — Joel Prichard's North Laurel Lady Jaguars gained a lot of experience during last season's success which they're hoping to build on this season.
"We are returning three of our top five players off of last year's team and we will be led by Kinsley Blair, Kendall Hacker and Hailey Griebel.
"Kinsley really started playing well at the end of the season last year, and also qualified for state. She is very talented, and I am expecting her to shoot some good numbers this year.
"Kendall Hacker has put in countless hours and lessons all winter and spring," he added. "She is really working hard on her game and getting ready for this season. She only missed out going to state by a couple shots last year. Hailey Griebel is just a fantastic athlete, has a great swing, and she has a heart of gold. Hailey was another one that just missed out on a trip to the state tournament last year."
With the abundance of talent he has returning, Prichard has high expectations this season.
"I expect big things out of all three of these girls," he said. They all have the ability to shoot in the low 40s consistently. The big thing with all three of them is they want to do so good and they try so hard that if they hit a bad shot it really just tears them up. That is golf, nobody is perfect. They have to learn to let that one go and focus on the next one but that is easier said than done.
"Also back this year is another senior, Aubrey Monaco, sophomore Mea Anderson and eighth-grader Lilly Kate Chesnut," Prichard added. "Aubrey really started playing well in the later part of the season, especially in the Breathitt County Tournament. Here is a kid that tries very hard and always has a big smile on her face. We started seeing her get in the upper 40s by the end of the season. Mea is another one that is very athletic and can really hit it and put up some good numbers also. Lilly Kate works really hard on her game also, we just have to get her a little more consistent. We have been making some changes to her swing and I believe it is going to payoff for her. These three girls are going to be fighting it out for the final two spots to round out our top five to compete in our matches. We also have three new girls to come out this year — senior Callie Feltner, freshman Avyanna Grigsby and 7 seventh-grader Eden Begley. All three of these girls are new to the game and show great interest. Eden is a tremendous athlete and is really picking the game up quick and has a great attitude. If she will continue to work on her game, who knows where she can go."
Prichard said the key to his team is strong leadership from his seniors.
"They all are fantastic role models and they have a winning attitude," he said. "They have a lot of experience under their belt and should be able to handle the pressure a lot better.
"We have to get our four, five, and six players to be able to throw some decent numbers in to be able to push us over the top for our team wins. I think this is the biggest thing we have to try and get nailed down. They have the ability, but they have got to put the time in."
Another tough slate will have North Laurel ready for postseason play.
"This year's schedule is pretty tough," Prichard admitted. I have us traveling over to Somerset to play Pulaski several times. We will be going up against Clay County a few different times throughout the season, too. These are two very good programs. We have the ability and team to compete with them this year. The last couple years they have been looking at us in their rear view window. We are hoping to change that this year. We are excited to get the season going on July 30 with the Tri-County Invitational tournament at the London Country Club.