Wellesley High School’s girls’ golf team has quietly turned into a team to beat over the past 2 seasons, going 15-5 last year and bettering that with a 15-2 start this season.
The team is only 4 years old and has been coached from the start by Ken Bateman, a WHS science teacher, and the boys’ team’s coach as well. This year’s girls team has 13 players (including 2 pairs of sisters, the Kellihers and Boslands). One of the nice things about the team is that everyone who tried out made the team, and the players are pretty much split between those with country club ties and not. “I am happy to work with any girl who wants to become better at the game of golf, Bateman says.
The team has use of the Nehoiden Golf Club at Wellesley College two days a week, but needs to use those days for matches, so doesn’t really get to practice there. It usually practices at McGolf in Dedham.
While the team’s record is similar to that of last year’s, Bateman says the players have gotten much better as a whole, with several shaving 6 to 8 strokes off their 9-hole scores.
The team still has some work to do this season: the South sectional is May 28, and if Wellesley finishes in the top 3 there, the state championship would await on June 3 (Hingham is the only team to have beaten Wellesley this season).
But looking further ahead, the team’s outlook is also bright considering its youth — there’s only 1 senior on the team. Junior Kathy Fortrin has been the team’s top player, showing consistency throughout the season. Freshman Anna Dailey has also been a team leader, and the much improved play from Mackenzie Grosso, Caroline Kelliher and Meredith Cheek has enabled the Wellesley High team to compete successfully week in and week out. “This team has been the best that I have coached in any sport,” Bateman says. “They help each other on and off the course.”