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Crawford, NH golfers show youth in first match

‘Really nervous.’
That’s how Crawford County junior Carolyn Pellman described her very first golf match as the Lady Pack went up against a short-handed North Harrison. Both the Lady Pack and the Lady Cats are beginning the 2009 season with a group of young, inexperienced players but expect better things as the season goes along.
‘It was the whole first match thing,’ Pellman said. ‘A couple of weeks ago, I was playing really well. I was shooting the high 40s, then today I came out and shot a 62. I wasn’t very happy about that. It’ll get better.’
The Lady Cats are in a big rebuilding year after graduating three from the team, including All-State standout Allison Dooley.
‘It hurt a lot,’ sophomore Sara Lang, who has played since the sixth grade, said. ‘Last year, we were undefeated in the regular season, MSC (Mid-Southern Conference) champs, sectional champs; we were doing so good. Then three of our kids graduated ‘ Allison (Dooley), Courtney (Barr) and Cindy (Garrison) ‘ all of them graduated, then two of our kids quit. So it went from all these great people to no one. (Freshman) Devin (Smith) is coming out, and she’s really good. The seniors have never played before, and hopefully we can get some other kids in. It’s really different not doing well this year.’
‘We’ve just got two today,’ North Harrison coach Robert Higdon said. ‘Devin Smith will be joining us. She’s got the capability of being as good as Allison Dooley. She was in (freshman) orientation today. I’m hoping to get some other girls out to play, too.’
The nerves were apparent on the opening hole at Old English Golf Course but, on the second hole of the match, Pellman got her tee shot within just 16 inches of the pin on the par three 11th hole on the course. Pellman tapped the ball in the cup for her first official birdie of the new season.
‘That was pretty exciting,’ said a smiling Pellman. ‘I’ve never birdied that hole before.’
Lang finished with a round of 54 for the day, also the low for the match. The North Harrison sophomore took the day in stride.
‘It’s not the best but, for as little as I’ve been playing this year, I thought I did OK,’ Lang said. ‘Some of the holes were pretty good, but right in the middle there for about three holes I couldn’t hit it worth anything. It was horrible. But all in all I thought it was an OK day.’
Senior Kelsi Brunner was playing in her first match as a Lady Cat golfer and found the game and course a little intimidating her first time out.
‘It was very nerve-wracking but it was fun,’ Brunner said. ‘The course (was intimidating) because I’ve never played it before.’
Brunner finished with a round of 63 for the nine holes. Lang said Brunner has improved considerably since the season began.
‘For only playing one summer for three weeks, she’s doing very well,’ Lange said of her teammate.
‘I started off bad but I seemed to get better,’ Brunner said. ‘Hopefully, I’ll keep on getting better … I have to learn patience and keep learning the game and all the rules. I don’t know many rules yet. It’s going to make me be more patient and observant in other sports.’
Lang said she is just hoping to see a full team for North Harrison and the group becoming competitive as the year goes along.
‘In the middle school next year, we should have a few girls coming in,’ Lang said. ‘There’s a lot on the middle school team, so we should have quite a few girls coming in that are pretty good. So, hopefully, we’ll get others and get a team together.’
Crawford County ‘ 199 (Pellman 62, Kitchens 63, Forbes 65, Jellison 69); North Harrison ‘ No team score (Lang 54, Brunner 63).