On her final hole at the PIAA Class AA Girls Golf Individual Championships at York's Heritage Hills Resort, Central Valley High School standout Macky Fouse reflected on her four-year career with the Warriors girls golf team.
She didn't have to worry about an opponent sneaking up on her: runner-up Joey Walz of Seton-LaSalle was eight strokes behind, finishing with a two-day total of 160. So, she could let her mind wander, if only for a moment.
"I started thinking about the people who have been there for me," she said as she recalled the stellar week she and her teammates achieved at the state championship tournament.
Fouse, a Seton Hall recruit who plans to major in business, won the Class AA girls individual championship with an 8-over-par total of 152 for the two-day event. A day after that, she and her teammates won the Class AA team championship with 344 strokes, 41 ahead of runner-up Villa Maria of District 10.
"My parents [Dale and Kathy Fouse] were there along with my golf coaches," she said, referring to Warriors coach Larry Milosh and Aurelio Bianco, a neighbor who helped Fouse with her game.
"He's a close family friend, and his daughter was on the golf team," she said. "He's been there for emotional support and has been a big part of my life."
Fouse said that winning the state title was a goal of hers when she first started competing for the Warriors.
"After I won the WPIAL [title], I wanted to [win] the regional and then win the state championship," she said.
Milosh emphasizes golf's team aspect, especially when it comes to earning state honors. But Fouse's victory and sophomore standout Maddy McDanel's third-place finish also pleased him. McDanel placed third with a 17-over-par total of 161. Marissa Sudar, also a senior at Central Valley, placed 10th with a total of 176.
"I always preach about how much 'team' means," Milosh said. "But I was really pleased for Macky. She's worked a long time for this honor. It all came together with her winning the WPIAL, the Western Regional and the state championship. I'm humbled."
The team championship took place a day after Fouse, McDanel and Sudar finished the individual tournament. Freshman Alex Bozich and junior Amanda Scally helped Fouse, McDanel and Sudar bring home the state title.
Milosh said there weren't any rah-rah moments in preparing for the team championship.
"I didn't have to say a word," he said. "[The team championship] was in all of their minds."
He said Sudar wanted to atone for her 10th-place finish in the individual tournament, and she did so by placing third in the team event with a round of 90. Fouse and McDanel were the only players to finish ahead of her with matching 7-over-par rounds of 79.
Fouse never lost sight of the team's goal during her three-day tour of Heritage Hills.
"With every round of golf, I get a little nervous," she said. "All of us knew the state championship was a little different than the other rounds we were playing. I was just focused on what I was doing."
The team championship began with a shotgun start, and Fouse began the final round of her high school career with a bogey on the par-3 No. 5 hole.
"I think that's the hardest hole on the course," she said. "The course on the third day was the toughest. We knew we had to get it done because it was going to be my last round of high school golf with my coaches and teammates."
The shotgun start meant Fouse and her teammates completed their rounds about the same time. It wasn't long before they knew the state championship trophy was coming back to Beaver County along with Fouse's and McDanel's individual hardware.
Milosh said the team won't be as good next year with Fouse and Sudar graduating.
But the cupboard isn't bare.
"We're going to have a lot of work to do before next season," he said. "But they are willing to do it. I know Maddy, Alex and Amanda are going to be better. I need to find two more girls to go with them, and it will be fun getting them ready."