Well, that didn’t take long.
The perennial state title-contending (and multiple state champion) Plymouth High School girls golf team teed off its season this week with the equivalent of a 340-yard drive.
The Wildcats captured the 16-team Royal/Gold Tournament at the Hudson Mills Metropark Course with a statement-making score of 338 — a whopping 22 shots better than runner-up South Lyon.
Led by the senior dynamic duo of Brooke Morris and Sydney Mazur, and sophomore Annie Flavin, the season-opening triumph promises to be the tip of the trophy-collecting iceberg for second-year head coach Nick Fotiu’s talented squad.
“We have a lot of veteran leadership this year,” said Fotiu, a social studies teacher at Canton High School who took over the reins of the program from Dan Young prior to the 2022 season.
“Our leaders do a great job of building chemistry and confidence in all of our players.”
They love the sport
One of the longstanding keys to success for the Wildcats has been the dedication to the sport the players bring to the program as freshmen.
“Most of our players have taken lessons — probably 80% of them right here at Fox Hills — since they were young, which obviously helps,” Fotiu said, when asked about the program’s rich history. “And success leads to more success over time.”
Morris, who is a co-captain along with Mazur, is the unquestioned leader of the team, regularly posting close-to-par scores and bringing a refreshing attitude to a sport that can be a grind on even the best performers’ mental approach.
“Not only is Brooke an outstanding golfer, but her cool, calm and collected demeanor rubs off on her teammates,” Fotiu said. “She’s always positive.
“Anyone who has ever golfed knows this can be a frustrating sport, but when you’re in a groove, there’s no better feeling in the world.
“On the very rare occasions Brooke hits a bad shot, she immediately shrugs it off and moves on to the next shot. Her mental focus is amazing.”
Mazur, one of three left-handed golfers on the 12-player varsity/JV roster, also possesses top-shelf skills and a positive mindset to match.
“Sydney is another product of taking lessons at Fox Hills since she was young,” Fotiu said. “She keeps the team loose by pulling off jokes and what-not.
“She takes the sport seriously, but she’s not ultra-serious, which is important.”
Flavin, who receives her game-enhancing instruction at Meadowbrook Country Club, consistently breaks 90 along with her before-mentioned senior teammates and is the face of the future for the Wildcats, Fotiu shared.
Rounding out Plymouth’s solid varsity roster are senior Brianna Swickard, and juniors Kayla Steinhauer and Regan Brydges.
Plymouth competes in arguably the most-talented division in the state — Brighton, Northville and the Wildcats) were all top-10 Division 1 teams in 2022 — a status that helps prepare it for the pressure-packed post-season.
“The KLAA West is really tough, which should make for a fun season,” Fotiu said. “Northville and Brighton both beat us by a few shots in our head-to-head matches last year, but I’m optimistic we can give them a run this year.”
Fotiu noted the program does not cut players who try out for the squad.
“We have a wide range of talent and experience levels,” he said. “From players like Brooke who have been playing the sport for a while down to a couple JV girls who picked up a club for the first time a few weeks ago.
“Even though the inexperienced girls’ skill level isn’t great right now, they’re working hard and talking about taking lessons, so there’s a good chance they’ll be able to contribute in the years ahead.”
Ed Wright can be reached at 734-664-4657 or email@example.com.