With three of the top four scorers returning, there’s plenty of reason for the Fenwick High School girls golf team to feel optimistic.

“I have never felt more confident in the team that I have,” said Fenwick coach Michael Trankina. “We’re much deeper than we’ve ever been.”

Trankina said he had to expand the rosters for both the varsity and junior varsity teams so deserving players could be retained. In a sport where schools sometimes do not have enough players to field a team, it’s a good issue to deal with.

“My biggest problem is going to be developing a rotation that keeps everyone happy,” Trankina said.

Fenwick is led by senior captain Kathryn Sweeney, who made the Girls Catholic Athletic Conference all-conference team and was a medalist in last year’s IHSA Class 2A St. Ignatius regional, which the Friars won by five strokes over crosstown rival Oak Park and River Forest. It marked the third consecutive regional title for the program.

Juniors Emma Maria Bassett and Olivia Tsitovich, who were part of the regional-winning lineup, return as co-captains along with Sweeney. Other returning golfers are juniors Jenin Gabato and Megan Grote.

Fenwick’s newcomers include junior Molly Mullen and freshman Mairin Sweeney, Kathryn’s younger sister. 

“Mairin put up an 82 in our first invitational [on Aug. 12 at Homewood-Flossmoor] and finished 15th individually,” Trankina said.

A new tournament the Friars will compete in this year is the OPRF Invitational, which takes place Sept. 7 at The Preserve at Oak Meadows in Addison.

To Trankina, however, the GCAC matches are the most important ones on the schedule.

“We always have fun playing against our rivals and friends at St. Ignatius,” he said.

Fenwick, along with the Wolfpack, hope to dethrone defending GCAC champion Loyola Academy.

“It usually comes down to the three of us, but who am I kidding? Loyola wins every year,” said Trankina. “But maybe this year, someone comes from the pack to win.”

The Friars would love to get their lone senior, Kathryn Sweeney, downstate this fall. She missed the cut to the state finals last year by four strokes.

More importantly, however, Trankina wants each golfer to do her best and enjoy being part of a great team.

“Sometimes we lose perspective if things don’t go our way,” he said. “But being a part of this group is a privilege to me and the coaches, and we want every golfer to feel the same way.”

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