BY SAMANTHA ELLIOTT
On Oct. 20 and 21, Grosse Ile was represented by Ava Napolitan at the Division 3 MHSAA girls’ golf state finals. It was a back-to-back trip for Napolitan, who helped to lead her team all season. Out at Michigan State University, Napolitan finished 45th with a 93 in round 1 and a 101 in round 2 for a 194 total.
To get to the individual state competition, the senior finished second as an individual qualifier at the regional meet at West Shore Golf and Country Club with an 87 on Oct. 11.
At that meet, the Red Devils narrowly missed a team trip to the state meet after they finished fourth with 397 points total.
Bloomfield Hills Cranbook Kingswood was first with 349, Detroit Country Day was second with 355 and Pontiac Notre Dame Prep rounded out the team finalists with a 388.
Grosse Ile’s finishes all stayed inside the top 25 for the day.
Napolitan led the way with her fifth-place finish of an 87. Senior Lily Whitty was 11th with a 95, sophomore Abbie Tuomisto was 24th with a 107 and sophomores Julia Whitty and Molly O’Brien were 25th, each with a 108. The girls finished with a 14-4 record and were second in the Huron League behind a strong New Boston Huron team.
Lily Whitty, Julie Whitty and Napolitan all finished first-team All Huron League and Tuomisto was second team. At the Red Devils’ own tournament, the girls finished fifth on the day back in September.
The girls were pleased with the season and with such a young team, next year already looks promising.
“Overall the year was pretty good,” Napolitan said. “We have a very young team with only two upperclassmen so it was pretty tough at the beginning of the season, but all the younger freshmen and sophomores worked very hard and improved their scores throughout the season.”
The season started all the way back in June and when team tryouts came, nine girls made the team.
“We started really in June doing hitting practice and then we started Aug. 9th with our season starting there with tryouts,” Coach Julie Gloor said. “As we got closer to the end of September, I went down to five players for our league meet and regionals.”
Gloor was happy with the effort her team put in this season both in meets and at practice.
“They’re a great group of girls; they all got along really well having fun on and off the course,” she said. “They all improved. A couple girls improved a lot from last year, which was nice to see. They stayed after practice and hit balls and practiced putting or asking for advice. It was something I really liked to see that they gave it that extra effort.”
While the team did not focus on a motto this year, they focused on simply having fun.
“I think they’ve just got to enjoy it,” Gloor said. “It’s everyday and they’re giving up some school to go to tournaments. They’ve got to have fun while doing it and it’s a game you can play for a long time.”
Heading into next year, Gloor is optimistic.
“It’s a great group of girls really that are always listening and always wanting to get better,” she said. “They’re going to professionals throughout the year to get some knowledge on course strength and skills.”