She could be declared the greatest female golfer in school history.
And her former classmate might be part of a prestigious but somewhat unfortunate club.
That club is called "the best player to never reach the state tournament."
When it comes to the Hudson girls golf team in recent years, three-time state qualifier Jenn David and former school record-holder Meaghan Grant have set just about unreachable standards.
Unfortunately for the Explorers, that golden era has ended. It’s time for Hudson to begin anew as it hopes to write another evocative novel without its two franchise players.
"You really can’t replace either of those two," first-year Explorers head coach Bobby Bolin said. "Because Jenn was so amazing, a lot of people overlooked Meaghan. She was a really good golfer."
Bolin hopes his current crew will feature some really good golfers. Hudson was the undisputed Suburban League National Conference champion last fall after capturing the preseason and postseason titles. The Explorers also finished 7-0 against conference opponents during the regular season.
Bolin may be a new member on the girls team. But he’s no stranger when it comes to a certain building located on Hudson Aurora Road.
Bolin is a U.S. history teacher at Hudson High School. He previously served as the boys golf team’s junior varsity coach for the last two years.
Prior to joining Hudson, Bolin was the head girls golf coach at Parma Padua Franciscan for three years.
Now he takes over a squad that has a fairly decent track record over the years.
The Explorers have reached the Division I state tournament three times since 2006. Thanks mainly to David and Grant, Hudson qualified for district play last season.
"I know they’ve had a lot of success the last few years," Bolin said. "This is a great opportunity for me. I’m excited to work for this group of girls."
The 2019 Explorers probably won’t have an ace in the hole like Annika Sorenstam or Nancy Lopez.
However, they do have four rock-solid seniors who don’t need a GPS to navigate around a course.
"I know we have the depth," Bolin said. "There is a lot of potential with this group of seniors. It will be fun to take their scores at the end of the year and compare them to their scores at the beginning of the year."
Those four seniors, who earned significant varsity time last season, are Emily Dunne, Lilly Hess, Maddie Horrigan and Sarah Hinkle.
So which senior shines brightest among the rest? The half-empty glass says "none of the above." As for the half-full glass? It boldly states "all of the above."
"Those four have all been very close," Bolin said. "They had very similar scores in tryouts. Maybe one of them will really pull away from the pack. It’s going to take a team effort."
While their scores may indicate they were part of a cloning process, the four seniors could be part of an age-old theory that is still discussed today.
No two snowflakes look alike.
"We played three nine-hole rounds and I think Lilly was two strokes better than everyone else," Bolin said. "I would say Lilly is the most consistent of the four. Emily is the biggest hitter and Maddie may have the best short game. Sarah is a wild card. She could go off and have a really good round."
Overall, each of the four seniors, who were previously guided by former head coach and Hudson graduate J.T. Goodson, bring something different to the table. More importantly, they enjoy each other’s company.
That company includes their new head coach.
"They have been extremely welcoming," Bolin said. "They have been very receptive. It’s easy to communicate with them. They listen very well."
Bolin will reluctantly press forward from the David and Grant era. Of course, that era included just one member of the latter standout’s family.
Bolin is thrilled to work with another Grant sibling for the next four years. Freshman Lizzy Grant seems to have the same golf DNA as her big sis.
"Lizzy performed well at all of the tryouts," Bolin said. "I believe she finished in a tie for the second best score. She’ll almost exclusively see varsity time. She has the pedigree and a ton of upside."
A certain sophomore has made the golf course her second home throughout the summer. Sophomore Moira Ackerman hopes a certain well-known phrase applies to her game as she visits the links in the coming months.
"Practice makes perfect."
"Out of everybody in the program, Moira has worked the hardest this summer," Bolin said. "I can see her contributing in a big way. She played a little varsity last year. She really worked to improve herself. She will play a lot of varsity golf because of that."
Bolin enthusiastically welcomes another underclassman, who previously played a sport that involves lots of heavy-duty contact.
Sophomore Delaney DiGeronimo gives the links a try after spending last season as … wait for it … a member of the freshman football team.
"Delaney is extremely athletic," Bolin said. "She doesn’t have a ton of experience playing golf. She has a very good-looking swing and makes very good contact. She could be something really, really special in the future. She has a ton of natural ability."
The head coach has a new face, but the JV team is led by a gentleman who could be considered the mayor of Hudson High School. Marc Zustin has been part of the girls golf team for approximately 10 years.
"Everybody knows Marc," Bolin said. "He has been huge for me. We have been teaching in the same department since I arrived at Hudson. He’s a huge asset to the program."
The Explorers have a few wrinkles in their schedule compared to last year. Instead of playing preseason and postseason tournaments to go along with its regular-season conference schedule, Hudson will compete in four Suburban League tournaments. The points accumulated from those tournaments will determine each team’s position in the standings.
Since they lost a pair of sweet-swinging sensations, the Explorers may not be on the short list of contenders for this year’s National Conference title.
But that doesn’t mean they will give up their championship without a fight.
"I want our girls to think about competing for the conference title and get out of sectionals," Bolin said. "I’m not saying we should expect to win the league."
Conference title or no conference title, the main reason Bolin signed up for this gig has nothing to do with hitting, chipping or putting.
It has a lot more to do with how his players carry themselves — on and off the course.
"No. 1, I want them to be good people," Bolin said. "It really seems like they are."
Hudson is scheduled to make its 2019 debut at the Suburban League preseason tournament Wednesday at Brookledge Golf Club in Cuyahoga Falls. Play is set to begin at 9 a.m.
Reporter Frank Aceto can be reached at 330-541-9444, firstname.lastname@example.org or @FrankAceto_RPC.