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Regina will tee off at Forest Akers West PHOTO GALLERY

  • Lutheran North's Serena Nguyen (right) shakes hands with Regina's Lucy Cornwell after winning a one-hole playoff to win medalist honors at the Macomb County Golf Tournament title. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by Chuck Pleiness)
  • Regina's Lucy Cornwell lines up a putt in a playoff hole. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by Chuck Pleiness)
  • Lutheran North from left to right, Kaity Rittner, Grace McKelvey, Madison Mohr, Serena Nguyen, Sydney Martens and coach Lori Gill, won a second straight Macomb County Golf Tournament title. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by Chuck Pleiness)

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A small team with some big talent, Regina’s golf team is headed off to the Division 3 state finals this weekend at Forest Akers West Golf Course at Michigan State University.

“At the beginning of the year we had a small returning team,” said Regina assistant coach Josie Artymovich. “We were very fortunate to have a few new girls come out and step up.”

One of the new girls headed to East Lansing as part of the five-player finals team is freshman Hannah Taras.

“Hannah has definitely shown us much improvement this year since coming out as a freshman in August,” said Artymovich. “She was extremely nervous at the beginning of the season, but she’s really stepped it up under a lot of pressure points.

“I know that she may have some nerves at states, but she’s more so excited to play at states than nervous.”

Taras played a huge role in getting the Saddlelites through regionals and on to the state finals, shooting a 101 in the regional tournament and helping Regina get the edge to finish in the top three.

“She pulled through for us at regionals,” said Artymovich. “We were tied for third and Hannah’s score came in and helped us secure the spot to take us to states.”

Sheridan Graves, a sophomore, is another youngster who has made a huge impact for the Saddlelites.

“Sheridan really stepped up this year all throughout the year,” Artymovich explained. “She would all of the sudden would come in with that high-30s score that would save the day and we would win a match big because she would come in with that low score.”

Sheridan’s older sister, Kendall, is a senior on the team. Kendall has been a leader for the team and has golfed for the Saddlelites all four years of her high school career; however, her little sister sometimes manages to get the better of her.

“There’s always some sibling rivalry when the younger sister sometimes beats the older one,” laughed Artymovich.

Sheridan managed to beat her older sister again at regionals, scoring a 84 while Kendall shot an 85.

Still, the elder Graves sibling has shown tremendous growth over her high school career and has become a centerpiece of the Regina team.

“Kendall has done a great job and has really grown on the golf course over her four years,” Artymovich said. “She has learned how to play smarter over time and I’m excited that in her senior year she gets to go to states.”

Artymovich also insisted that Kendall Graves and Lucy Cornwell, who led the Saddlelites at regionals with an 81, have done a great job to working with the younger players like the aforementioned Sheridan Graves and Hannah Taras.

Cornwell is looking to have a great outing at states as she plans to play golf in college next year.

“Lucy has worked very hard and has come through when we needed her the most,” said Artymovich. “She’s really stepped it up this year.”

A third senior, Emily Demers, will also be golfing for the Saddlelites in East Lansing. Artymovich says that she, like Cornwell, always manages to come through when she’s called upon.

Demers was able to step up at this time last year, when she was thrown into the lineup on Day Two at the state finals and contributed.

Overall, Artymovich is excited that her team will get a chance to play in the meet that the Saddlelites have had their eyes on since the beginning of the year with no added pressure.

“I told them that they were finally here now,” she said. “There’s no other qualifier; we’re here at states and all they can do is enjoy it and play their best.”

The meet takes place at Forest Akers West on the campus of Michigan State University this Friday and Saturday.

Also participating from Macomb County in the Division 3 meet at Forest Akers West from Macomb County is Armada’s Gabrielle Locke, who will be golfing individually.

Locke, a sophomore, shot an 80 at regionals.

Macomb County’s other state qualifiers are Brooke Symons of Stevenson, golfing individually in the Division 1 state finals, and the Lutheran North team which will play at Forest Akers East at MSU in the Division 4 state finals.

Last Updated: 10/15/2015 6:11:42 PM EST