TUPPERS PLAINS, Ohio — After a busy and successful high school career, it’s time to give it a go at the next level.
On May 11 in the Eastern High School, senior Kaitlyn Hawk signed her National Letter of Intent to join the Marietta College golf team.
“I didn’t pick up a golf club until my freshman year, and I have just fell in love with it since,” Hawk said. “To be able to play four more years is an honor. Everyone who has supported me, family, friends and coaches, I know I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for them.
“I’ve had four different coaches and I think they’ve each played a big role in where I am today. If it wasn’t for my other teammates on my cross country team and my golf team, again I wouldn’t be where I am today. They make it fun and enjoyable.”
For the first two years of her high school golf career, Hawk played under head coach Nick Dettwiller, who remarked on Kaitlyn’s work ethic and her ability to lead, even at a young age.
“Kaitlyn is one of those kids that you wish you had 10 more of them,” Dettwiller said. “She’s a hard worker, has a great attitude and was a great role model for the team, even as one of the younger kids. She’s one of the girls who’ve turned the program around, turned it into something. I can’t wait to see what she does at the next level, because her work ethic is going to carry her regardless of where she’s at or what she’s doing.”
As a junior and senior, Hawk’s golf coach was Jeremy Hill, who noted that with golf as Kaitlyn’s primary focus, the sky is the limit.
“I’ve gotten to know Kaitlyn over the last few years,” Hill said. “She’s an outstanding individual and she’s going to be successful at whatever she does. Once she puts her heart into golf, and starts working on it all year round with a good golf coach and program that Marietta has, she’ll excel at it. She’s an outstanding student, she’s great as an athlete and she’s good girl.”
Hawk was named to the Division II All-District squad as an honorable mention in her senior season.
When asked about her favorite memory of high school golf, Hawk reflected back to her sophomore season, when she and the Lady Eagles made history at the Division II sectional tournament at Hocking Hills.
“We were the first girls golf team at Eastern High School to make it to districts,” Hawk said. “The bus ride home from sectionals and the bus ride to districts was unbelievable, it was an amazing experience.”
The Lady Eagles were a single stroke from returning to districts in each of the last two years, something Hawk is using for motivation.
In the sectional meet at Chillicothe Jaycees in her senior season, Hawk fired her career-best round of 97, the team’s best score of the day. Hawk’s best score for nine holes is a 45 fired at Meigs County Golf Course, while her favorite course to play is Riverside Golf Club.
Hawk will be joining a Pioneers team that competes in the Ohio Athletic Conference and NCAA Division III. Marietta College is coached by Tom Arison, who led the Pioneers to a sixth place finish in the OAC championships last season.
“I’ve met with the coaches and met with a couple teammates,” Hawk said. “From what I gathered, the golfers and the coaches are real close, I think that they can trust each other, and they spent all the time they could together. I look forward to many new friendships in the future.”
Hawk plans on a Health Science major in her first four years at Marietta College, and then plans to apply for the Physician Assistant master’s degree program at MC. With a grade point average of 4.212, Hawk is the Salutatorian of the EHS class of 2018.
In addition to her success on the course and in the classroom, Hawk — a member of the National Honor Society — has excelled in three other sports at EHS, earning a total of 14 varsity letters.
Kaitlyn was a freshman on the first-ever EHS girls cross country team to reach state. As a four-year member of the cross country team, Hawk helped the Lady Eagles capture four Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division titles, as well as four district titles.
As a distance runner for on the Lady Eagles’ track and field team, Hawk has helped win four league titles and has competed at the regional level. Hawk was a two-year member of Eastern’s varsity basketball team, helping the team to a district title in 2017.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.