NEW MARKET—Unable to muster enough golfers in 2015 to build a team, Southmont failed to put a girl’s golf team on the course for the first time in the program's tenure.

To solve that problem, the Lady Mounties are digging deep into the underclass ranks. The entire team is composed of freshmen.

Lexi Rusk, Bailey Thompson, Mandy Rodgers, Carson White and Erin Williams compile the young squad while only three have meeting experience at the junior high level.

For head coach Bill Whalen, who is also a newcomer handling the head coaching duties for the first time, the atmosphere around the team is full of excitement.

“We may take our lumps right now but these girls are building for the future.” Whalen said. “They are taking instruction well, we've been practicing in this heat, and I've not heard one complaint from anyone.”

Whalen pointed to an 18-hole, three-team round on a difficult Harrison Hills Country Club course to demonstrate the effort the Lady Mounties are making to improve. “Erin Williams shot a 119 and Bailey Thompson shot a 122 on a day when nobody broke 100,” he said.

The young Mounties posted their best round of the early 2016 season, carding a 257 to Danville's 215 in their first Sagamore Athletic Conference meet of the year.

“We aren't going to focus on our shortcomings,” Whalen said. “We are going to work totally on teaching fundamentals, on the rules of the game, and on what it takes to gain meet experience.”

Whalen, although new to the head coaching position, has helped with the boy’s golf program in the past. On the flip side, Whalen is being assisted with the ladies' team by Dave Williamson, a long-time boy’s golf head coach.

“Dave took several Southmont teams to the State tournament in the past. His teaching is invaluable to our five freshman,” said Whalen.

Whalen has goals to win the County, and to advance in the tournament, but his immediate goals are modest.

“This year, we are looking to gain the experience to learn what it takes to succeed at this level.” Whalen said.

The well-known Crawfordsville Country Club is the home course for the Mounties this season and the site for a three-way meet on Aug. 16 featuring Southmont, Tri-West and Monrovia.