By: John Raffel
Crilley leads way for defending state golf champions
Danielle Crilley knows that a great deal is expected of players on the Lansing Catholic Central golf team.
With that in mind, she's hoping to continue to contribute to the Cougar attack for the defending Division 4 state champions.
Lansing Catholic Central won the state title with a 649 last October, beating second-place Grosse Ile by 39 strokes.
Crilley, in her sophomore season, finished third place overall with a 162 on scores of 79 and 83 in the finals at The Meadows at Grand Valley State University. She finished four strokes out of first place.
She's gotten off to a strong start as a junior, having shot a 77 recently at the Ithaca Invitational.
“I think I've been playing pretty well,” Crilley said. “I've had a couple of holes that have made my round higher than it should be. Other than that, I'm playing solid golf. Everything is feeling good right now. I'm pretty happy.”
It's her third varsity season.
“My freshman year, I thought I played as good as I could coming in as a freshman,” Crilley said. “My score usually counted in the fourth and fifth spot for us. But my sophomore year I stepped it up a lot and a lot of the time I was team medalist. Right now, I'm still keeping that No. 1 spot. I've been kind of leading the team ever since. Toward the end of my sophomore year, at state, I really played well there.
“I've matured a lot and have learned a lot more about the game the last couple of years.”
As a freshman, Crilley averaged around 41 for nine holes and 83 for 18. As a sophomore, she averaged 39 for nine and 79 for 18.
“This year, I'm shooting towards averaging a 38 for nine and trying to shoot a 77 average for 18,” said Crilley.
“The strongest part of my game right now is probably my short game,” she said. “I can keep the ball in play, but my short game has been helping me to score lately. My putting this past year helped me to keep those scores lower. If I can keep the ball in play from off the tee, I'll be fine from there. I'm just trying to work on the shot, getting it close to the hole,” she said.
Crilley had an extensive summer schedule to get ready for the 2011 campaign and was working on her game.
“I think my potential is unlimited,” she said. “I think I can get a lot better. I think if I really work at it and work on the mental side of the game a lot...I hope to play in college. I really want to play in college and focus the next two years in high school in getting better each day.”
The team, Crilley said “is capable of going undefeated again.”
“She is a very hard worker,” said her coach Mary Schafer. "She worked this summer on her game. She was at the range constantly.”