It may be her first year as coach, but Nancy Pommerening is no stranger to the Langley High School golf program.
Pommerening replaces Sonny Chisholm, who coached Pommerening's two sons during his eight years at the McLean school.
So after watching Chisholm take the Saxons to five district titles, three regional crowns and two state championships, Pommerening takes over the most consistent team in Northern Virginia.
"The boys feel very self-assured, knowing they've been to the regionals and states before," Pommerening said. "I can't take any credit for how good some of the boys are. Sonny built this program and it's still his team, his players."
Once again, Langley will be one of the top teams in the area, even though its chances for a third straight state title are not as strong as they might have been.
The Saxons lost three superb golfers to graduation but have good depth. Senior James Pelland is Langley's No. 1 player, followed by senior captain Steve Czaban and juniors John Riedy and David Johns.
Langley is in the Great Falls District and should receive a challenge from Madison. The favorite in the Potomac District is Chantilly, which has won the division the past three years. Oakton and Robinson are strong in the Northern District. It should be an interesting season in the Gunston District as four or five teams are considered to have a shot at the title.
In high school golf, the regular season, consisting of eight matches for most teams, means very little. Every team enters the district championships, with the top two or three qualifying for the regional tournament. The state tournament follows.
Teams from Northern Virginia may not perform as well as last year, considering that five of the top six finishers in the state tournament in 1984 were from the region, but, nevertheless, are expected to be in the running.
Oakton, which went unbeaten during the regular season but played poorly in the district event last year, "will be very competitive," according to Coach Frank Autry.
The Cougars are led by junior Chris Turner, who is considered one of the best golfers in the region. Turner represented Virginia in a match against North Carolina's best this summer, and also tied a course record at Westwood Country Club with a 66.
"I'd say Chris is one of the top two or three golfers in the state," Autry said. "He never plays a bad round. He's very consistent."
Autry thinks his biggest problem this year will be getting production from someone besides Turner, who finished a shot behind in the state tournament his first two seasons.
Three Brians -- senior Murphy, junior Gallagher and sophomore Quackenbush -- are Oakton's other top performers.
Turner's best competition is expected to come from Jefferson's Fred Widicus, a junior who finished second in the district, second in the region and third in the state last year.
"I haven't been as sharp as I was in the summer," Widicus said. "My goal is to win the state, but it will take a little luck."
Robinson won its district a year ago and is a serious threat to Autry's team. Rams Coach Bob Menefee has two very good players -- senior Steve James and junior Mark Jansen -- and two steady ones in senior Jeff Trussell and freshman Kevin Dillard.
"We have as good a chance as anyone. I think Langley and Oakton are very strong, but we should be in the top three or four," Menefee said.
Chantilly is aiming for its fourth straight Potomac District title under sixth-year Coach Pete DeHaven. The Chargers are led by seniors Ray Tricario and Kevin Robinson, with support from sophomore Blair Johnson, and freshmen Bruce Winesett and Matt Robinson.
"It takes more than one or two players to go a long way. Some teams have one super golfer, but that is it. You need depth to be successful," said DeHaven, whose team should be challenged by Fairfax in district play.
The Gunston District, meanwhile, appears to be wide open. Mount Vernon is young, but should be strong with sophomore Steve Clary and senior Dave Barker leading the way.
Hayfield, West Potomac, Lee and Edison should also be in contention.
After the district tournament at selected sites, the regional and state tournaments will be held in Sterling.