Hudson girls golfers hope to continue legacy left by their four former teammates

Delaney DiGeronimo putts the ball toward the hole last fall. The Hudson girls golf team finished second in the Suburban League National Conference standings in 2019.

They didn’t win a state title.

They didn’t win a sectional title either.

Heck, they didn’t even get out of sectional play.

Nevertheless, Bobby Bolin will always have a soft spot for 2020 graduates Emily Dunne, Lilly Hess, Sarah Hinkle and Maddie Horrigan.

For good reason.

Thanks to the talents and leadership of those four individuals, Bolin’s first year as Hudson’s head girls golf coach couldn’t have been more pleasant.

“We’re going to miss those four,” he said. “It was so great to have them last year. They really set the tone for my first year. The leadership they showed was just unbelievable.”

Dunne was the Explorers’ top player last fall. However, Hess, Hinkle and Horrigan certainly held their own on the course as well. More importantly, all four of these distinguished young ladies have made a lasting impact on the current crew.

Now, the 2020 version of Hudson hopes to continue this special quartet’s fantastic legacy.

“The girls we have coming up have gained so much from being around those four girls,” Bolin said. “I can’t say enough good things about them. All of them are wonderful people.”

Bolin has similar feelings about his three returning players. They are juniors Delaney DiGeronimo and Moira Ackerman and sophomore Lizzy Grant.

Both DiGeronimo and Grant posted scores that ranked in the top four at least a few times last fall.

“Delaney hits the ball a mile,” Bolin said. “She is really good off the tee and she has a really good touch around the greens. Her thing is her consistency. When she puts everything together, she’s a really good golfer.

“Jumping from a freshman to sophomore will be huge for Lizzy. She had some really good rounds last year. She is so much more confident. She played some really good golf over the summer. She has really stepped into the leadership role as a sophomore.”

Besides last year’s seniors, Ackerman may have been the most influential person on the team. Her exceptional work ethic might have had something to do with it.

“Last year, Moira put in more work over the summer than I had seen,” Bolin said. “Same thing this year. I’ve noticed her improvement with her short game. She seems to be more confident and is growing as a leader. She might be the X factor on our team.”

Bolin also is pleased to tutor a freshman phenom. Her name is Sherry Du, who posted the third lowest score during tryouts.

“We have been keeping an eye on Sherry on the Junior Tour and in middle school,” Bolin said. “We’re excited to see how she handles herself on the high school team. So far, she’s fitting right in.

“She has a lot of talent and is another kid who works really, really hard. She’s a great kid who gets good grades. She’s very mature as a golfer in the way that she conducts herself and reads putts. You can tell that she has been there before.”

The rest of the team features junior Mallory Zammataro, sophomores Olivia Lindley, Julia Kuss, Kelly Emmendorfer and freshmen Ellie Davis and Maria DiMauro. The junior varsity coach is Marc Zustin.

“Last year, I had no idea what to expect,” Bolin said. “This year, I come in, free of any bias and free of any expectations. We know we have the potential to be good. It’s about working hard to reach that potential.”

Hudson finished 7-3 in dual matches and was just five strokes away from reaching Division I district play. The Explorers were the runners-up to Stow-Munroe Falls in the Suburban League National Conference standings.

“We set our expectations high,” Bolin said. “We want to win the conference. We know how good the conference is. We want to get to districts and if we’re lucky, we want to go further.

“I told the girls, ‘You’re not going to win sectionals tomorrow.’ The goal is to get better. All of the girls, one through 12, are some of the best people I know. They’re good students and they’re good kids.”

Hudson is scheduled to make its 2020 debut at the first of the four Suburban League tournaments Thursday at Gleneagles Golf Club in Twinsburg. Play is set to begin at 8:30 a.m.

Reporter Frank Aceto can be reached at 330-541-9444, or @Faceto_Gannett.