In his 14 years as the coach of the Northfield girls golf team, there’s been two trends that are paramount for Brian Stevens to continue each year.

First, in every season since 2007, the Raiders have sent a golfer to compete at the state tournament. Second, if there’s any student that wants to come out and play for Northfield, she’s more than welcome.

“My goal is always to have a lot of girls,” Stevens said. “We don’t cut anybody, so grade seven through 12 if you want to come out and give golf a try we take you. That’s been a good thing for us I think, because we’ve had a lot of players to pick from. Some choose to go for it and work on it more in the offseason with summer tournaments and that kind of stuff.”

That will be key this season as the Raiders try and continue their streak of representation at the state tournament. Northfield loses four seniors who consistently contributed to last year’s varsity efforts, so other than sophomore Molly Stevens and senior Hannah Breiland there’s not much in terms of experience.

“We had one of the best teams that we’ve had in the 14 years that I’ve been here,” Brian Stevens said. “That’s really kind of hard to come back from, it’s hard to replace those four. Realistically, our goal is to always be in the upper half of the Big 9 Conference. That’s our goal year in and year out.”

Hopefully, Brian Stevens said, the Raiders will accomplish that goal with the help of the depth that’s been building on the junior varsity teams. For this year, he figures senior May Hayes and junior Sydney Noel will help plug in the gaps after leading the Northfield JV squad last season.

After that, though, Stevens it’s just as curious as anyone else about who might stand out to fill out the varsity lineup.

Last year’s finish: Second in Big 9 Conference, third at Section 1AAA tournament

First match: Monday vs. Austin

Quotable

“I’m just as anxious as everybody else to see how the lineup is going to shake out and who’s going to be there,” Stevens said. “There’s probably some other names I’m not mentioning that I just don’t know about yet. It’ll be interesting to see how that all shakes out, I just don’t know enough yet.”

Key departures

Emma Iverson

Taylor Pleshcourt

Marissa Ruppe

Betsy Schuerman

Returning players

Hannah Breiland, senior

Molly Stevens, sophomore

Key newcomers

May Hayes, senior

Rachel Bielenberg, junior

Sydney Noel, junior

Sylvia Koenig, freshman

Reach Sports Editor Michael Hughes at 645-1106. Follow him on Twitter @NFNSports.

Sports Editor for the Northfield News. Also a California native looking for tips on surviving the winter and an Indiana University grad on the quest for a good breaded pork tenderloin.

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