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Groumoutis chooses to stay home

SWCC continues to load up on Panther golfers

Pictured is the scene from Sophia Groumoutis' signing ceremony at SWCC Wednesday. Front row from left: Sophia's mother Mae Greene and father Dino Groumoutis to the right of Sophia. In back are Panther golf coach Jon Thomsen, sister Maria, grandfather Tony, and SWCC coaches Ryan Palser and Doug North.
Pictured is the scene from Sophia Groumoutis' signing ceremony at SWCC Wednesday. Front row from left: Sophia's mother Mae Greene and father Dino Groumoutis to the right of Sophia. In back are Panther golf coach Jon Thomsen, sister Maria, grandfather Tony, and SWCC coaches Ryan Palser and Doug North.

Panthers keep heeding the call of the Southwestern golf program.

Creston's own Sophia Groumoutis became the second current Panther senior golfer to commit to the SWCC women's golf team this offseason, joining Ashton Carter.

The multi-time state qualifying duo and a second team all-state performer last year, will head to SWCC next year to join former teammates Hayley Osmun, Kyle Somers and Michael Stults, the three of which are current Spartan freshmen.

Groumoutis signed with plenty of family present, a group that has frequently supported the senior golfer through her success.

"We (Panther golfers) like coach (Doug) North, being on and around the course with him and the SWCC team it impacts you," Groumoutis said. "I know that with the locals coming it will make our community stand out and having experience with them in the past makes it much more worth it."

For North, who has known several of the Panther golfers since they participated in junior golf, recruiting and getting to know Groumoutis and some of her teammates has been particularly rewarding.

“I don’t want them to leave our area and contribute to other programs. I'm glad to have them here," North said. "I’ve known them all since they were in junior golf and even younger than that."

The senior golfer heads into her final season looking to help her team improve upon its sixth-place finish at the 4A state meet a season ago, a fourth-place team finish at the Hawkeye 10 meet and her runner-up individual finish at the Hawkeye 10 meet last season.

"I have been in the process of improving my swing in order to get some more distance," Groumoutis said. "My strongest right now is my short game, mostly my putting. Improving that would make me outstanding, but I definitely need to improve my shots off the tee in order to keep my next shots in line."

North, who is pleased with the amount of depth he has seen grow in area golfers, hopes that he can continue to have a positive influence on the love of the game and overall skill of local youth golfers.

“I’m hoping I can keep young people interested in golf around here, whether it’s their younger siblings or younger cousins," North said.

Groumoutis, like many of the student athletes heading to SWCC, will study in the nursing program.

"I did look at other schools because I am going to try to get into the nursing program and I am already a CNA and have taken a lot of my pre-nursing classes and I knew the nursing program was good out at SWCC," Groumoutis said. "I wanted to continue playing golf as well so it worked out so much better and being able to play with the same teammates I had in high school because we do very well as a team."

The Creston/O-M golfers begin their season with practice on Monday.

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