By Pete Chiodo
2013 Girls Golfer of the Year: Lacey Latta
School: Meadville Area Senior High School
Vitals: Lacey Latta has not only been Meadville’s best golfer the last couple years, she was also the best golfer in her region the last two years, winning the region’s golfer of the year honor at the end of both seasons. She pulled off the repeat this season after leading the Lady Bulldogs with a stroke average of 42 through nine holes and helping her team claim second place in the league behind champion McDowell. She posted several medalist performances this season, and also barely missed out on making it to the regional championship, finishing one spot out of first at the District 10 Class AAA individual championship tournament.
Season highlights: There are plenty to choose from. For example, early in the season she went up to McDowell’s home course at the Erie Golf Club and tied Trojans golfer Ellen Eighmy for medalist. Both golfers shot 42. Later, she dominated in a region mega match at J.C. Martin, shooting a 34. During a dual match against Union City at the Country Club of Meadville, Latta won medalist by four strokes with a 45. Later, she and the rest of the Bulldogs took on a bunch of Mercer County teams at the Hickory VFW Golf Course and finished tied for medalist with a 46. Then the region mega matches finished up in Warren at Jackson Valley Golf Course. Latta authored a 44, making her the top golfer for the round. She suffered a bit of a hiccup during the District 10 Class AAA team championship when she scored an 88 at Riverside Golf Course. But three days later she was back at Riverside for the D-10 individual championship and managed to shave five strokes off her game, carding an 83. Unfortunately that wasn’t enough to McDowell’s Megan Kaverman, who had an outstanding round of 80 to win this year’s Class AAA crown and the lone entry into the PIAA West Regional tournament.
What the coach says: “At districts, she had one bad hole and then it snowballs,” said Meadville’s head golf coach Fred Garvey. “But there’s no room for error there. Only one girl moves on. ... Lacey has been the region player of the year for two years in a row. In both years she shot the lowest average in the region each year. ... She’s been a four-year starter, she’s a great kid, an awesome student. She can hit any shot. I don’t think there is anybody on the team that works harder. She’s very dedicated.”
What we say: Even though Latta’s season may have ended a bit prematurely, there was no denying the impact she had for the Meadville girls golf team this season. And she was only one piece of a top-notch senior class for the Lady Bulldogs, which also included Kailey Malady, Abby Moore and Felicia Krasa. They are all going to leave some big shoes to fill. None, however, will be tougher to fill than Latta’s.