Glory Days With Nicole Schachner
Libertyville's best female golfer had two top-five finishes in the state before earning a scholarship to the University of Florida.
For a few years, four girls were the biggest celebrities in Lake County girls sports. They were Kate White of Carmel, Hailey Koschmann from Lake Forest and Beth Weinstein of Highland Park.
And Libertyville’s contribution to this foursome of golfers was Nicole Schachner. As a senior in the spring of 2006, the IHSA state golf tournament was her last chance at individual glory — she opened with a birdie and posted a strong 74 on Day One.
The only problem was Notre Dame’s Emily Powers had rung up a startling 66 and held an eight-stroke lead.
The key hole on Day Two was the 15th. Schachner routinely posted a par as Powers registered an eight on the hole. Schachner was even better on day two with a 73. She finished second in the state.
“That was pretty cool for my senior year,” Schachner said. “I knew I had to go super low. It was a little disappointing that I didn’t win. But I remember playing well. I always loved competing.”
For the record, Lake County placed all four golf stars in the top 10. White and Koschmann tied for third. Weinstein tied for eighth.
“All four of us would end up playing together,” Schachner said. “We all enjoyed that.”
All Golf, All the Time
Schachner is around the game of golf all the time now. However, she doesn’t get to play very much. Her recent travels have taken her to San Diego, Palm Springs, Mexico, Florida, West Virginia, Vancouver and Reno.
“It’s nice to be around the game,” she said. “It’s nice to be on the road. I avoid the winter.”
Golf began early for this player. Both her father and older brother played the game regularly.
“I hit balls and did everything they did,” she said. “I found out I had a little natural ability.”
She soon joined up at the IJGA and took on boys. Of course, she wasn’t all golf all the time.
“In seventh and eighth grade, I was with all my friends at the pool,” she said. “And I was a cheerleader in high school.”
One fond memory came during her junior year. The Libertyville team qualified for state aided by Natalie Chase, Alex Hein and Nikki Miller. Schachner easily posted her team’s best score as she had the team’s best finish at 18th.
“That was pretty cool for our team to qualify,” she said.
Her sophomore season was highlighted by a tie for fifth place.
College Team Captain
Heading into college, Schachner knew she wanted to go to a big school that was south of Illinois.
“I loved it at Florida,” she said. “I was talking to my dad while I was at practice one day and he said there was snow on the ground back home.”
Her college career was highlighted by being the team captain for three years. She also won the 2007 Illinois Open. However, her career was stalled by a motor scooter accident and the passing of her mother during her junior campaign.
Now on the road weekly, she has fond memories of her days at Libertyville High School.
“I still have some of my closest friends from Libertyville,” she said. “I loved the whole atmosphere with the parents, teachers and coaches.”