Catalina Foothills senior Erin McClure competed in eight tournaments in six states over the summer. At a sectional qualifier, she carded a 76 to earn a spot in the USGA Junior Girls Championship in Pinehurst, N.C. SAMANTHA SAIS FOR THE ARIZONA DAILY STAR

The girls golf team at Catalina Foothills is no Phoenix Xavier, but coach Mark Polich is working on it.

Xavier, one of the top high school sports dynasties nationally, has won a girls team championship in 28 of the last 30 years.

Foothills has finished in the top two for seven consecutive years - three titles and four times a runner-up.

The Falcons won it all last year, setting up an opportunity for back-to-back state titles, a feat they have never accomplished.

Last season's winning team had no seniors and returns every individual except one.

Brittany McKee, one of Catalina Foothills' top three players last year, now attends Chandler Hamilton.

Seniors Laura Jabczenski and Erin McClure will lead Foothills.

Others who will figure prominently are seniors Grace Tooley and Taylor Dunagan, and sophomore Shireen Singh.

Jabczenski has a golf scholarship waiting at Northern Arizona, while McClure spent her summer competing in eight tournaments in six states.

During those tournaments, McClure garnered some attention - she received several scholarship offers - but added she also learned more about herself as a golfer and as a person.

The Star chatted with McClure about three of her events and what she learned:

1. Aspen Golf Classic: McClure says her trip to Aspen, Colo., in early June was her first national tournament. She said she was nervous - and played like it.

"I learned a lot up there because I actually played the worst round I've ever played. My self confidence went way down and it really made me think about a lot of things. It definitely motivated me for my next tournament in Las Vegas, where one of my three rounds I shot a 77."

2. Arizona Girls State Junior Golf Championship in Flagstaff: On the second day of the two-day tournament in early July, McClure had a hole-in-one on the 131-yard eighth. It was the second ace of her life.

"I think it helped me learn more about who I am as a player and how I take my emotions on the course. When I got the hole-in-one, I was excited. But I realized I needed to keep my composure about it, because I still had a tournament to play. You can't get too excited or you'll blow up on the next few holes."

3. USGA Junior Girls Championship in Pinehurst, N.C.: McClure played a sectional qualifier in Blaine, Minn., placing third there with a 76, which allowed her to gain entry into the USGA national event.

She failed to make the cut after two days, but says it was an experience she'll always treasure.

"I met so many cool people that I'll never forget. I was playing with the top girls in the country. It really makes me look at myself and makes me see how I need to improve as a player. That definitely gave me lots of motivation when I came home."


Jordan Carter, Jr., Cien

Kirsti Grau, Jr., Cien

Laura Jabczenski, Sr., CF

Kayleigh Kresse, Sr., MV

Erin McClure, Sr., CF

Melissa Olson, Sr., MV

Krystal Quihuis, Fr., Sal

Tess Terry, Jr., Sal

Grace Tooley, Sr., CF

Brianna Vogel, So., Sal


Logan France, Jr., CDO

Nikko Grau, Sr., Cien

Andrew Gunn, Jr., CF

Gentry Hicks, Sr., CDO

Dylan Kornberg, Sr., CF

Ricky Lee, Sr., Sal

Colin McCarty, Sr., Bue

Matt McClure, Sr., Sal

Alex McMahon, Sr., IR

Vytas Rutelionis, Jr., Sab

Selections made by Star staff in consultation with area coaches