Aurora girls golfers seek a new number after spending last season on 'all fours'

FRANK ACETO Reporter
Emily Pierce tees off at Barrington Golf Club during a match last season. The Aurora golf team finished fourth in the Suburban League American Conference standings in 2019.

It’s an unfortunate but extremely common term that is often screamed at the golf course.

“Fore!”

As many golfers know, that means an errant tee shot is coming dangerously close to an innocent bystander.

The girls golf team may brace themselves whenever they hear this word during the season.

In this case, though, the Greenmen are more partial to a similar sounding word that is actually a number rather than a warning.

That would be four.

Pardon the Aurora players if “four” might sound a lot more unpleasant to their ears than an oncoming golf ball.

Why?

The Greenmen finished fourth in the Suburban League American Conference standings in 2019. That became official after Aurora placed — you guessed it — fourth in all — yes, there seems to be a theme here — four conference tournaments.

A new coach hopes to change that number in the coming months. Former head baseball coach George Snider will lead the Greenmen this fall.

Aurora, which finished 6-5 last season in dual matches, lost three seniors to graduation. They are Olivia Traci, Olivia Vagasky and Molly Russell.

Despite these losses, the Greenmen have plenty of depth. Aurora has 19 players on its roster, including its top player from last year, Anjali Mishra, who is a junior.

Other returning juniors include Emily Pierce and Kayla Tejada. And, of course, there are plenty of newcomers who expect to make waves in 2020.

“The competition for the six varsity spots is strong due to the depth of the team,” Snider said.

Other players who expect to contend for those six spots are junior Nikole Newkirk, sophomore Cameron Custer and freshmen Brooklyn Millard and Nina Newkirk.

“Millard, Pierce, Mishra, Tejada and Custer are pretty solid,” Snider said. “Millard appears to be the strongest player initially due to a summer of very competitive tournament play.

“The competition for the sixth spot is strong, but Nikole Newkirk gets the early nod.”

Snider has plenty of heavy hitters at his disposal. As for the ball-striking around the greens, well, that’s a work in progress.

“Our strength might originally be our length,” Snider said. “The short game is a question mark due to limited competition. Our summer workouts were well attended.”

Snider’s assistant coach is Tim Baczkowski. With defending Kent Roosevelt and Highland lurking in the American Conference, the rest of the field could be battling for third.

As for Aurora, that sounds a lot better than “Four!”

The Greenmen are scheduled to make their 2020 debut at the first of the four Suburban League tournaments Thursday at Glen Eagles Golf Club in Twinsburg. Play is set to begin at 8:30 a.m.

Reporter Frank Aceto can be reached at 330-541-9444, faceto@recordpub.com or @Faceto_Gannett.