WEST JEFFERSON — The Lady Husky golf team certainly knows what it feels like to win a conference title. Ashe has won the Mountain Valley Athletic Conference Championship each of the past two seasons and are hoping that this year will be the third.
Ashe brings back four golfers from last year’s squad, including Sarah Hardin who is a two-time MVAC Golfer of the Year, a three-time all conference selection and has qualified for the state championship tournament in each of her first three seasons.
Fellow senior Alexis Howell as well as juniors Madison Osborne and Bailey Witherspoon are the others from last year’s group that steamrolled the competition on the way to the conference crown. Osborne was an honorable mention all-conference performer last season and Howell also had a solid junior season that nearly put her in the playoffs.
“Madison and Alexis barely missed making NCHSAA regionals last year. It was really disappointing for both of them to be within reach of qualifying. I really hope they both can make it this year and I know they do as well,” said Ashe County head coach Laura Foster.
The Lady Huskies will look to keep the program running strong with some more young talent coming in as freshmen this year.
“These girls played at the middle school last year, I am so happy that our middle school started a golf program,” said Foster. “It will be a huge asset for our high school golf programs.”
The goal for the season is to finish on top once again, but the ladies know other teams are wanting to challenge for that top spot.
“We are the 2014 and 2015 Mountain Valley Conference champions and we certainly have hopes of a three-peat. However, it will be tough this year,” Foster said. “East Wilkes is a very talented and experienced team. I certainly expect it to be a tight race.”
Five, possibly six of the MVAC schools will have a women’s golf team this year. Elkin and Starmount will not have a team and a 2016 team from West Wilkes is still up in the air.
The regular season will begin on Thursday, Aug. 25 at Mountain Aire with a non-conference match against Watauga.
Nathan Ham can be reached at 336-489-3062.