The last several seasons, Region VI women’s golf has belonged to the Barton Cougars.
Barton has won the last four region titles and has a pair of Top 10 NJCAA finishes during that time as well.
“We just want to keep it rolling,” Coach Doug Kaiser, now in his ninth year at the helm of the women’s team said. “That why a lot of the girls come here. It is a big plus for us.”
The Cougars begin their quest for five straight titles when they tee off this weekend at StoneRidge in the first of six Jayhawk Conference meets.
Three of those meets will take place this fall with the final three in the spring.
Last season, the Cougars were pretty much all freshman. This season those freshmen are now sophomores.
“We have three sophomore where least year were an all freshmen team,” Coach Kaiser said. “The freshmen look up to sophomores and do what they tell them to do. That has been a big plus in practice.”
Leading the way is perhaps the best woman to ever golf at Barton. Sophomore Peerada Piddon returns after a record breaking freshman season.
Piddon, a sophomore from Thailand, won four times last year and finished second on three more occasions leading up to the NJCAA Championships. The only time she didn’t place in the top two was a surprising fifth place finish on her home course in the final regular season conference meet.
At the NJCAA Championships, Piddon golfed perhaps her best tournament of the season, shooting a 74-75-74 during the rain-shortened 3-day event to place seventh overall.
That is the highest finish ever for a Cougar golfer.
“The way she is shooting right now she should do well,” Coach Kaiser said. “She has really thrown out some good scores for practice rounds. Right now she is where she left off last season.”
Barton’s third best golfer from last year is also back in Makenzie Fabrizius. The sophomore from Spring Hill placed in the top 10 in Jayhawk events all but once including a fifth place finish at the Region VI meet.
“Makenzie is where we need her to be,” Coach Kaiser said. “She is shooting like I was hoping she would. She has been in the low to mid ‘80’s. That is what we need from her.”
The third returning sophomore has impressed as well. Janae Champlin from Concordia improved a lot over the summer for Coach Kaiser.
“Her scores have been around 90 and last year never broke 100,” Coach Kaiser said. “If she can hit in the 90‘s that will be a plus.”
Freshman for the Cougars will include Kendra Jellison from Topeka, Miranda Kern from Colby, Olivia Neuenswander from Ozawkie, and Taylor Becker from Holcomb.
The Cougars also look to have another freshman join the team for the spring season in freshman Lucia Rodriguez from Argentina.
The season gets started Friday at 1 pm at StoneRidge and will conclude with a 10 am start time Saturday.