Mary Beth Tribble chips toward the green during a round during Tuesday's Lady Braves Invitational. Tribble shot 79 which was second on the team.
The Northview golf program is no stranger to success. After three consecutive trips to the state finals, the Knights have lofty goals once more this season as they return three of the five players who played in the state finals last season.
The Knights have lived up to early expectations after playing well in the first several tournaments of the year and seeing steady improvements from several golfers who have risen to the varsity squad.
Junior Millie Akers and sophomore Mary Beth Tribble lead this year's squad and after playing well in summer tournaments, the pair of continued their success into the prep season.
"Millie (Akers) had a personal record 77 (at Mooresville) this week and topped that with a 75 (at the Lady Braves Invitational at Rea Park)," commented coach Teresa Akers. "Last year she struggled with her driver but she got a new one about three weeks ago and its really helped her game."
Tribble is also shooting well, carding a round of 79 at Rea Park after an 81 at Mooresville. "Mary Beth contributes so much to the team," noted Akers. "She's quiet, and doesn't require much coaching. She's getting consistently better."
Tribble, who also splits her time with Northview's marching band, shot an 88 at Brebeuf after recording an 82 in the Valparaiso tourney in which Northview placed third overall.
The Knights' depth is the key to their success over the past several years and this year will be no exception.
Northview has had steady improvement from their younger golfers who have played in a couple of tournaments already this year.
The Knights played two teams in the Lady Braves Invitational with their Black (varsity) squad, winning the match with a round of 334 and their Maroon (JV) team placing fourth out of 10 teams.
Jenae Huffman has moved up to the varsity squad to help replace the graduated Brittany Cheek and Maggie Kirchner.
Huffman has played very steady this year, shooting an 85 at Valpo and an 87 at Rea Park.
"Jenae has stepped up her play and has really contributed to the team."
Madison Kirchner has also shown the ability to shoot top scores when she came through with an 80 in the Valpo tourney and has been a steady contributor this season.
"Madison has been getting better with every round," mentioned Akers.
Madason Stevenson has also joined the fray for a varsity spot. The Knights have a handful of players who can all make an appearance in the No. 5 spot depending on who is playing the best at the moment.
"I think our top four girls are set, but we have five players with the ability to fill out the team," said Akers.
With the Knights showing such early improvements in their inexperienced players, teams should be on the lookout for Northview when it comes tournament time.
Northview has already gotten a look at some of the teams that will make up their sectional and others who they could face farther into the postseason.
"(The Lady Braves Invitational) showed us what our sectional will be like," commented Akers. "Jasper and Terre Haute North are a couple of the tougher teams, North has their strongest team in awhile. I think we'll have the most experience of any team."
The Northview roster has also been aided by Akers' son, Tyler, a veteran of the boys' squad for several years and a 2004 graduate of Northview. Akers is working with the team as a swing coach and also works with the JV golfers while Teresa is with the varsity golfers on road trips.
"Having Tyler help out has really helped the team and its especially instrumental with the younger golfers. They are making steady progress and you can tell they are enjoying themselves more and getting more confident."
That could be bad news for the Knights' competition down the road as Northview looks to be a force to be reckoned with for quite some time.
"We're working hard," said Akers following their victory at Terre Haute South. "It'll payoff in the end."
For the Knights, that goal is another trip to The Legends Course at Franklin and another berth in the state golf finals.