Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference individual champion Leina Kim will lead a young team when the Colorado State University-Pueblo Lady ThunderWolves open their season next week at the Walking Stick Golf Course.
The Lady Thunderwolves, who finished runner-up to Metropolitan State University of Denver last season, kick off the fall event in the 2nd Annual Farmers Insurance Samuel Proal Invitational on Sept. 7 and 8 at the Steel City.
CSU-Pueblo women’s golf head coach Josh Koschke, in an interview uploaded on the Lady ThunderWolves golf website, said Kim will either help the team’s campaign as a player or a coach.
“We’re still awaiting word if she [Leina] will get another year, for her fifth year. So we’re kind of waiting and we have a tournament in seven days. So Leina will be a player or an assistant coach and help us,” said Koschke on the Saipan native golfer who will graduate in the spring of 2016.
Kim is a senior while San Antonio, Texas-born Natasha Navarro is a junior. The newcomers on the team are junior Jacquelyn Porman, and freshmen Courtney Ewing, Tori Goodman, and Malaysian Jolene Kam.
Koschke said Porman, who was recruited out of Mesa Community College of Arizona, brings in two years of high-level collegiate golf experience.
“And that fills in from like a Julie Sanchez, who already graduated and has brought a lot to the team,” Koschke added.
Ewing, who also played volleyball at Pueblo West High School, was named a member of the All-State team in her junior season where she also finished fourth in the state tournament.
Goodman, on the other hand, was named the Colorado Springs Metro League Freshman of the Year in 2011 and earned All-Conference honors in 2012 to qualify for the state tournament.
“Courtney is a very good high school player and has a well-rounded game. Tori is from Peyton High School up in Colorado Springs. They both grew up with the game,” said Koschke.
“Courtney also played volleyball while Tori basketball. So they come from a sports background. They know the team aspect and they know how to play hard,” he added.
Kam graduated from the Australian International School in Jakarta, Indonesia and was the 2014 BMW Golf Cup champion where she represented Indonesia in the BMW World Final.
“Kam is a really good talent. Just a little girl and we have to get her stronger at the weight room. And if we do, she can hit with a lot more distance and she can be tough to beat,” said Koschke.
“A lot of young talent, we’re going to be very good but we’re also going to be a young team. And we’re going to play with three freshmen and we’re going to live and die with them. If they play good, we play good.”