Staples High girls golf coach Bob Byiteck believes his team could be the FCIAC's best this year.
The Wreckers finished 14-2 last season, behind only Greenwich in both the regular season and conference tournament. The Wreckers and Cardinals also split their two meetings during the regular season, with each team winning on the opponent's home course.
"I think we're the strongest team," Byiteck said. "I think it's between Staples and Greenwich."
Staples returns three of its top scorers and adds a pair of promising talents in freshman Anelise Brown and junior Faith Garcia, a transfer from Trinity Catholic.
A member of Trinity's boys team last season, Garcia has built an impressive resume in the sport. Last August, she won the Borck Junior Tournament -- held at Mill River Country Club in Stratford -- for a second straight year.
"She's probably a Division-I girls golfer," Byiteck said. "She's probably the strongest golfer I've ever had in the program. I've been there for 17 years. She's big time."
Byiteck expects Garcia to make a quick impact for the Wreckers.
"I expect her to lead the team, be the No. 1 player," he said. "She's been a very big addition. We've really welcomed her and we're really excited about having her on the team."
Bennewitz carded a 97 at the conference championships at Tashua Knolls in Trumbull, good for third on the team.
Carrying high expectations, Staples opens its season April 9 against Fairfield Ludlowe at Longshore.
"My goal would be to be under 180 each match," Byiteck said.
The Wreckers graduated three seniors from last year's team, Kim Hynes, Sarah Ressler and Eliza Duvall. Hynes is currently playing golf for Union College, while Ressler -- the team's second-leading scorer (92) at FCIACs in 2012 -- is playing for Amherst College.
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