Freshman Mary Croteau wins girls golf medal division championship

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Provided by Mary Croteau

Mary Croteau wins the NHIAA girls medal division as a freshman

Facing off against the best girls high school golfers the state has to offer is a nerve-racking feat in itself. Freshman, Mary Croteau was seemingly unaffected though, as she won the NHIAA state girls medalist tournament by four strokes.

Croteau has been golfing since the age of eight, but has turned it into high gear over the past year.

“I first started to take [golf] seriously when I was in 8th grade, gearing up for high school, when I wanted to be on the team,” Croteau said.

Croteau’s hard work and practice has pushed her to new levels while playing for the Lancer golf team. Despite her commanding victory, this was not something she could have predicted just a few weeks ago.

“I didn’t expect this at all,” Croteau said, “I wanted to do my best and my best was good enough.”

This season Croteau was tied for the tenth spot on the varsity roster and made the most out of the opportunity she had. In the end it payed off as she faced some of the best girls golfers in the state.

“Showing up to the event, I was happy to see all the girls and proud that I made it there. I was so happy to see that I was one of them,” Croteau said.

Not only did she prove that she was one of them, Croteau proved that she could beat all of them.

“After my round concluded, I had to do a lot of waiting,” Croteau said, “ I was the first group of the day to tee off, so when I finished I passed time by watching Riley Anderson, a senior, tee off. She is the only other girl on the lancer team, so we are good friends. I was waiting for the last group in my division to finish up so they could put their scores into the computer. Once I saw, “1st: Mary Croteau, 43” I was so excited. I was so happy to start high school off with a win.”

Anderson is among the many people who have made a huge impact on Croteau this season. In her senior season, Anderson has really taken her under her wing to help the future of Lancer golf.

Mary is awesome,” Anderson said,” I first met her when helping out at a middle school golf team practice when she first began playing. She had a great attitude about the game and held her own on the course. She was really impressive as a young player and her drive to improve really made me want to see her succeed in the sport.”

Golf is a Co-ed varsity sport, meaning both girls and boys can participate, but Croteau and Anderson are the only females on the team this year.

“I definitely feel a larger sense of unity with Mary, as we are the only two girls on the team,” Anderson said, ”Golf, especially in high school, is a very male-heavy sport. Seeing another girl at a match is rare, so I was beyond excited to have another girl on the Londonderry team. It’s nice to know that someone else understands the “girl on the golf team” experiences, which makes practices even more fun.”

With a talented senior class of golfers leaving, Anderson has faith that the program is headed in the right direction.

“ I know the team will be left in good hands with her around for another 4 years. She brings so much positivity and determination to the game that I know she will continue to succeed,” Anderson said.

Croteau’s play this season has not only impressed her teammates, but her coach as well.

“I expected Mary to make an impact this year in Lancer Golf, which she definitely has.  Her game has continuously improved over the last two years, and will continue to improve as she maintains her work effort,” varsity head coach, Daniel Grant said.

Croteau set herself apart from the crowd and it comes as no surprise through her mental strength.

“As a competitor, I think you should go into any competition expecting to be successful and win – and I expected Mary to have that mindset, which she does.  I think the combination of Mary’s work ethic, her coachability and her mental toughness provided the results in the Medal Division of the State Tournament,” Coach Grant said.

Croteau’s win was not just an important moment to her, but also marks a rare occurrence of a freshman winning this tournament.

“In the 4 years that Lancer Golf had a competitor in the State Tournament, this is the first time that I have seen a freshman win the Medal Division,” Coach Grant said.

Croteau attributes a lot of her success to Coach Grant who has been working with her since middle school.

“[Coach Grant] was with me the whole round of states; he kept me calm and relaxed the whole time,” Croteau said.

With the medal division championship under her belt as a freshman, the sky is the limit for Croteau as she looks to only improve from here.

“Starting my high school years off strong with a win, I don’t intend on stopping my success anytime soon. I will continue to do my best and work hard,” Croteau said.

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