Wildcats displaying a toughness on the golf course

Mount Si squad features eight seniors.

Kat Hodgson knows exactly why she has spent copious amounts of time on the golf course since the age of 6.

It’s the feeling the Mount Si High senior co-captain experiences when she strikes a solid shot and it lands just in the right place on the course. Those moments create a love for the game that resides within her.

Just like any other golfer who sometimes struggles with their game, those stellar shots aren’t always present, she said, but the linksters keep plugging away for success.

Last year, Hodgson finished 13th at the 4A state tournament and fifth at districts, where the Wildcats earned third in the team standings. At press time, Hodgson was shooting strong with one medalist award and two ties at the top spot in the team’s three matches that resulted in a 1-2 record.

Hodgson’s best showing is a 1-over 37 against Issaquah in the nine-hole match.

“I’m feeling good and I’m excited for this season. I think it’s gonna be interesting to see what happens,” said Hodgson, a four-year varsity golfer who also qualified for state as a freshman and missed the cut by one or two strokes as a sophomore.

Fellow senior and co-captain Emma Fougere was one of six Wildcats who qualified for districts last season. That list included Tori Berger, now a sophomore, who was a state alternate.

Fougere, a three-year varsity player, competed in her first 18-hole match at districts last year and liked how it was more relaxed and easier to recover from bad shots than in the nine-hole realm.

“You really have to focus in on every shot and make sure you’re not holding on to the last shot. Move on to the next shot,” said Fougere, adding that her irons are her go-to clubs and she’s working on improving her drives and putts. Hodgson’s iron chips are her best shots, and she, too, wants to strengthen her driving and putting games.

The mental game is a major piece of any golfer’s arsenal, and Hodgson is zoned in on that aspect of the sport.

“Just try to keep a pretty clear mind. Try not to overthink it,” she said.

Beyond Mount Si golf, Hodgson can’t contain her excitement that she’ll be playing next year at the University of Victoria in Canada. She learned about the school at a college fair and “fell in love with the campus” during a visit.

Fougere will keep her clubs handy for intramural action next year when she’ll attend Washington State University.

For now, she’s finishing up an extremely busy sports year, one in which she competed on the Mount Si swimming, gymnastics and golf squads.

“I really like it that there’s so many opportunities at high school. I like the competition aspect of all the sports. The team gets me out there, getting me going,” Fougere said.

Coach Stephen Botulinski likes it that his team — which features eight seniors — is toughing it out in league matches and continuing to improve.

“We should have a really strong finish,” he said.