By Josh Thomson
Back when Alexis Hios was the new kid on varsity, Rye golf coach Rich Savage shared advice she continues to heed today.
“He always said to me, play smart and don’t go for the superstar shot,” Hios said. “He said that to me when I was in eighth grade and that stuck with me every day since.”
Be it a coach’s advice or her natural talent, Hios proved throughout high school that she could be a superstar without acting like one. The senior starred the last four years on varsity, piling up accomplishments none of her competitors can match.
The now two-time Journal News girls golfer of the year led the section in scoring differential for the second straight spring and qualified for her fourth straight state tournament.
Hios once was the young rising talent. Now, she has the maturity and experience to be Section 1’s best while still appreciating her competition.
“We had an amazing state team that was a really young team as well,” said Hios, who placed 10th in last month’s state tournament after finishing 12th as a sophomore and solo second as a junior. “It was great to see a great bunch of young players come up and see what phenomenal golfers they are.”
At one point, that was Hios. Now, she has established and maintained her edge as the area’s top player. Her 2.94 scoring differential was nearly 1.5 shots better than any other player in the section. She also finished fourth or better in the Section 1 tournament all four years, including winning the event in 2013 and placing third this season.
Hios led after the first round this year and teed it up at the 17th hole of the final round still in front. She momentarily faltered and Ursuline’s Alessandra Ricigliano — one of Hios’ best friends — chipped in for victory on the 18th.
“It’s a lesson learned,” Hios said. “I make mistakes. I’m human. When you make one mistake, you move on. There are so many other great holes I’ve had, so many other great rounds. It’s not one I’m going to dwell on.”
In fact, her decorated career continued two weeks later when she earned 10th place at SUNY Delhi in her final appearance at states. The finish helped soothe the sting and end her stay on varsity strong.
“I was really happy to end my senior year on a good note,” Hios said. “To end with that round at sectionals would’ve been a bummer. I learned from the mistakes I made and I was able to go out and perform as well as I did at states.”
Among the section’s state qualifiers, Hios’ effort left her behind only Carmel’s precocious eighth-grader Lauren Peter, who finished seventh.
She will now play collegiately at Towson, fulfilling her dream to play Division I golf.
Other members of The Journal News all-star first team:
Emily Corrigan, Ursuline: The senior finished the season sixth in scoring differential and earned a trip to the state tournament by virtue of a fourth-place finish at sectionals. Corrigan then posted the third-best finish by a Section 1 player, landing at 18th overall at states.
Katie Delango, North Rockland: The senior established herself as Rockland County’s top player at every turn. She finished fourth in the section in scoring differential, sixth at sectionals and tied for 22nd at states — all the best in the county.
Frida Henningsson, Rye: Henningsson was steady throughout her junior season, posting the section’s fifth-best differential. She ended the sectional tournament fifth and finished 30th overall at states.
Lauren Peter, Carmel: The eighth-grader showed her considerable promise, especially late in the season. She challenged at sectionals before finishing solo second and continued her ascent at states. She finished alone in seventh, carding the best score among Section 1’s nine-player contingent at SUNY Delhi.
Alessandra Ricigliano, Ursuline: The senior chipped in on the final hole to win the Section 1 tournament, capping a strong career that saw her place in the top four at the event each of her three previous seasons. Her 4.43 scoring differential was second in the section and she was fourth-best at states, earning a 20th-place finish.
Coach of the year
Laurie Adamo, Ursuline: Adamo’s Koalas proved they were the section’s best team top to bottom. Ursuline sent the most players to states (Corrigan, Ricigliano and Caroline Hodge), and won the Section 1 team championship at Bonnie Briar in a three-way match with fellow league champs Suffern and Wappingers.
Kim Bacon, Jr., Byram Hills
Kaelyn Chi, So., Suffern
Vienna Chiu, Fr., Edgemont
Caroline Hodge, 8th, Ursuline
Christina Liu, Sr., Edgemont
Ally Steffen, Fr., Byram Hills
Kristina Grimaldis, Sr., Byram Hills; Rachel Ollis, Sr., Suffern; Tara Slattery, Jr., Carmel;Lindsay Sullinger, So., Suffern; Amanda Tully, 8th, Carmel; Christiana Villani, Sr., Rye.