By Ray Hamill — Another H-DNL athlete showed this week what can be achieved through hard work in sports, as she prepares for the next chapter in her life.
On Monday afternoon, in front of a gathering of friends and family at Beau Pre Golf Course, McKinleyville senior Molly Citro signed a letter of intent to play golf at Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia, next year.
And while it might be a long way to go for the 2018 H-DNL girls golf champion, it was a fit that was too good to pass up.
“I’m really excited about it, and I don’t mind the distance,” Citro said. “I’m studying politics, and I wanted to be close to D.C.”
The Marymount women’s program is relatively new, fielding a team for the first time just five years ago.
But the combination of academics and athletics at the school made it an easy choice for the Mack standout.
“I really liked their coach, and what they’ve done there,” Citro said.
In her wake, she’ll leave an historic legacy that won’t easily be topped.
Citro, along with junior teammate Phoebe Sundberg, played a pivotal role for the Panthers this past fall, on the way to a league title and a North Coast Section Division-II team championship.
It was the second straight NCS crown for Citro and her teammates, who are the only H-DNL team, boys or girls, to ever manage that feat in golf.
In addition, Citro was crowned H-DNL individual champion in her senior campaign.
But that will come as no surprise to anyone who has followed her career closely, since she first started hitting golf balls with her father Tim Citro, as a seven-year-old.
“For the past six or seven years she’s been running around this golf course, and she’s always been a really hard worker,” course pro and Citro’s long-time mentor Rex Dunham said. “She knows what she wants to do.”
And that love for the game and hard work has paid off.
“She practices,” Dunham said. “She plays in the winter time.
“Molly constantly improved with her effort, and she’s acquired a lot of golf skills … Molly has really excelled in the game.”
Molly’s father also spoke to the gathering.
“Seeing how she’s gotten better, and the person she has become, and not just doing it through golf but also academics, is pretty special,” he said.
Citro thanked her parents, her coaches and the club for all playing a part in her success, which began in earnest six years ago when she played in her first tournament.
“I’ve been playing competitively since the sixth grade, and I’ve loved it ever since,” she said.
The 4.3 GPA student athlete will join an NCAA Division-III Saints team that competes in the Atlantic East Conference.
Head coach Bob Ferguson has been in charge of the Saints women’s team for all five seasons.