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Burbank High's Irene Maemura leads this season's girls' golf talent

Bulldogs junior looking to vie for a Pacific League title after placing second last season. Burroughs has solid mix of players.

August 23, 2013|BY NATHAN CAMBRIDGE
(File Photo )

As the summer draws to a close, it means it's time for the players of the Burroughs High and Burbank girls' golf teams to take to the course and represent their schools for another season.

Last season, both Burbank and Burroughs featured squads that had to replace departed talent at the top, and both schools finished outside the top three in the Pacific League and missed the postseason.

This year, both squads will look for improvement with more experienced groups. Burbank will have a strong returning player to build around, while Burroughs will feature a potent mix of new and returning talent, as both try to catch last year's co-champions, Arcadia and Crescenta Valley, as well as third-place La Cañada.

BURBANK

Burbank Coach Branko Sevic thinks catching up with the Pacific League elites is not out of the realm of possibility as long as his Bulldogs "keep improving."

Bulldogs' Irene Maemura finished ninth in league her freshman campaign and improved to second last year. For the junior to continue improving and maybe even win her first league individual title, she'll have to overcome a two-time defending title holder in Crescenta Valley senior Jocelyn Chia, the reigning All-Area Girls' Golfer of the Year who edged Maemura by six strokes to win last season.

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"We're trying to get her a league championship and keep progressing," Sevic said of the goals for his star and team, respectively, in the upcoming season.

Maemura comes off a successful sophomore season that saw her take second in the individual league championship, as well as advancing to the CIF-Women's Southern California Golf Assn. Championship, where she carded an 82.

"Hopefully this year we'll get her to state," Sevic said.

Returning players Alexis Poche and Caitlin McGrath also will be looked to as key players as the team progresses.

"I'm expecting [Poche] to play better this year," Sevic said of the incoming sophomore.

McGrath will be a junior and has been developing her game.

"I know she worked hard," Sevic said. "I saw a lot of her at the range this summer."

With a small squad of six golfers, that means everyone will be relied on if the Bulldogs want to achieve positive results.

"With a small squad it's very tough," Sevic said. "Everything is going to count."

BURROUGHS

This season, Burroughs returns a core of four seniors in Joany Gao, Stephanie Adachi, Evyn Freedman and Tiffany Mirabal, who have all been in the program since their freshman years.

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