A year ago, Maddy Kokich didn’t quite make the cut.
Now on the Bellarmine Prep girls golf team, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. She was still one of the better players in the area.
She just happened to be a member of the state’s premier powerhouse program – a six-time defending 4A champion.
And on Wednesday, Kokich did not let another opportunity pass by.
In fact, she won the 4A Narrows girls tournament at Lake Spanaway Golf Course by two strokes over teammate Serena Lee.
“It was a little gut-wrenching last year,” Kokich said. “I was motivated to come back, and I just knew I was going to make it either way.”
Kokich has always had game. In fact, two years ago, she finished third in her age group at the inaugural “Drive, Chip and Putt” contest at Augusta National Golf Club, home of The Masters.
“We knew she was a great ball-striker,” Bellarmine Prep coach Mark Bender said. “She’s learned how to control herself … and that mental part of her game showed.”
In fact, the top five spots at the league tournament were swept by the Lions. Kokich’s winning two-round total was 10-over-par 154, followed by Lee (156), Tessa George (159), Clair Hill (162) and Morgan Bentley (163).
This is a team unlike any Bender has had during his long tenure at Bellarmine Prep.
“In the past, we have always had one or two of the heavy standouts,” Bender said. “Now what we have, any one of five or six girls who can step up the plate and be No. 1 on any day - and they know that. And they respect each other for that.”
On Wednesday, it was Kokich’s turn to be leader of the pack.
“With what we’ve got, and they are all coming into their game, we have a really good chance (for seven 4A titles),” Bender said. “Eastlake will probably give us a little run for our money.”