“I want to rock it!” That’s what Caitlyn Maralack, Mount Si girls golfer, has in mind for this year.
Maralack is one of the more talented girls to come through the program. She went to state as a freshman last year and took 11th. A golfer since age 8, Maralack knows she can improve on that score.
Playing on the team has taught her how to understand the game from more perspectives than just her own. Golf can feel like a solo game, but the varsity experience means the team also matters.
“Never give up,” Maralack advises teammates. “It’s a frustrating game, for sure. You’re going to hit a lot of bad shots, and a lot of good shots.” But you never know when the bad shots will set up a good one.
Other Mount Si players to watch include veteran senior Tabitha Dorn and sophomore Bianca Backman. Backman balances golf with club soccer.
Golf is tough to master. Backman likes that. “You can’t just find one swing. There’s always something you want to work on and do better.” Her goal is to hit into the low 40s.
“If you haven’t played golf at all, you’ll think it’s an easy game,” Maralack said of her sport. “People don’t realize how hard it is.
It is 100 percent a sport. You work your butt off just like any other sport.”
Newcomer Anika Laufer said golf is not just about winning. “It’s about how I can improve,” she said.
Matt Campbell, new coach for the Mount Si girls golf team, and youth golfing go back decades.
A golf pro for more than 25 years, he played all four years on the Mount Si boys team as a teen, then started a lot of junior golf programs in the Valley. He also served as the Junior Golf chairman for the Pacific Northwest PGA.
Campbell, the former general manager at Mount Si Golf Course, now runs Little Si Links pitch, putt and practice facility next door.
Campbell built Little Si Links to help broaden the golfing opportunities four years ago. Now, he’s back to focus on it, and runs is seven days a week, 10 a.m. to sundown. He also gives private lessons.
“It’s a breath of fresh air,” he said of his first foray into high school coaching.
Campbell gets to work with girls of different abilities, and he emphasizes accountability, health, fun and team bonding.
Some of the friendships he made on the Mount Si team have carried forward to today. His own team will do the same: “They’ll have relationships for the rest of their lives with these girls.”
“It’s not necessarily about golf, but making better people,” he said of his approach.
Mount Si girls golf schedule
Thursday, March 27
• Mount Si hosts Bellevue, Liberty and Mercer Island, 3 p.m.
Monday, March 31
• Mount Si hosts Interlake, 3 p.m.
Tuesday, April 15
• Mount Si hosts Sammamish, 3 p.m.
Thursday, April 17
• Mount Si vs. Lake Wash. at Bellevue Municipal, 3 p.m.
Tuesday, April 22
• Mount Si vs, Bellevue at Overlake Country Club, 3:20 p.m.
Wednesday, April 23
• Mount Si hosts Mercer Island, 4 p.m.
Wednesday, April 30
• Mount Si vs. Juanita at Wayne Golf Course, 3:15 p.m.
Monday, May 5
• Mount Si hosts Liberty, 3 p.m.
Monday, May 15
• Kingco Championship, 12:30 p.m. at Snohomish Golf Course
Monday, May 19
• Districts at Riverbend Golf (Kent) 10 a.m.