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Mooney’s Rapp takes another shot at state

Two years ago, then-Cardinal Mooney freshman Alyssa Rapp was a bit overwhelmed with everything that was going on around her in the Division II girls golf state tournament.

She was playing the Ohio State Gray course for the first time and her brother Alex, a senior at Poland, was in the boys state tournament that was being played on the Ohio State Scarlet course.

Rapp, one of three area golfers competing in state tournament competition today and Saturday, said that day was an unusual mix of excitement and oddity.

“It was weird,” she said. “I was a freshman competing against juniors and seniors and I was a little intimidated. Then, you throw in the fact that my parents were basically switching up, following each of us around the course. They’d switch about every four holes or something. I even saw my brother where the courses overlapped.

“It was memorable, but sort of strange. I’ve never known or heard of siblings both competing in the state tournament at the same time, same day. We were lucky that we were basically on side-by-side courses.”

Competing in the Division III boys tournament at NorthStar today and Saturday are Mineral Ridge senior Jake Sylak and McDonald sophomore Caleb Domitrovich.

Rapp shot a two-round 203 two years ago when Mooney placed sixth (737) as a team. Alex, who now attends Notre Dame College where he continues to golf, was competing as an individual and carded a 160 to tie for 11th place.

Alyssa improved to a 175 total last season at OSU-Gray when Mooney tied for eighth as a team. Now her goal is a top-10 finish.

“This year is a little different, too,” Rapp said. “Every golfer is only allotted two tickets and every coach gets two tickets (due to COVID-19 restrictions). So my parents and Alex will be there, along with my coach (Mary Theresa Bellino) and her husband. But this is the first time I won’t have teammates to rely on and interact with. It kind of sucks not having teammates there for moral support.”

Rapp advanced by shooting a 71 in the district tournament Oct. 6 at Sable Creek. She finished in a tie for fourth overall and defeated Poland’s Sophia Yurich in a sudden-death playoff hole to earn the third and final state berth.

“I think I’ve grown a lot since my freshman year,” she said. “I put in a lot of work in between my freshman and sophomore years with my personal coach (Joe Allen). It showed in the difference in my scores. I also am more confident and mentally stronger. I triple-bogeyed my first hole at sectional this year and didn’t really bat an eye. I knew I could get it back and I birdied the next hole and finished with four birdies (for a fourth-place 82 at Pine Lakes on Sept. 28).”

Bellino has seen Rapp’s growth.

“She’s very focused and determined and just a joy to coach,” Bellino said. “She’s not easily distracted. She told me going into this season that her goal is to become a four-time state qualifier and I’d say she’s well on her way to that. We’ve talked about her being in the 160 range at state this year and I think she’s peaking at the right time. She averaged around 42 per nine holes in the regular season, but in the final weeks, she was almost always near 38 or 39. So she’s on target and we’d like to see her right around 160-somewhere.”

Rapp shot a two-round 203 two years ago when Mooney placed sixth (737) as a team. Alex, who now attends Notre Dame College where he continues to golf, was competing as an individual and carded a 160 to tie for 11th place.

Alyssa improved to a 175 total last season at OSU-Gray when Mooney tied for eighth as a team. Now her goal is a top-10 finish.

“This year is a little different, too,” Rapp said. “Every golfer is only allotted two tickets and every coach gets two tickets (due to COVID-19 restrictions). So my parents and Alex will be there, along with my coach (Mary Theresa Bellino) and her husband. But this is the first time I won’t have teammates to rely on and interact with. It kind of sucks not having teammates there for moral support.”

Rapp advanced by shooting a 71 in the district tournament Oct. 6 at Sable Creek. She finished in a tie for fourth overall and defeated Poland’s Sophia Yurich in a sudden-death playoff hole to earn the third and final state berth.

“I think I’ve grown a lot since my freshman year,” she said. “I put in a lot of work in between my freshman and sophomore years with my personal coach (Joe Allen). It showed in the difference in my scores. I also am more confident and mentally stronger. I triple-bogeyed my first hole at sectional this year and didn’t really bat an eye. I knew I could get it back and I birdied the next hole and finished with four birdies (for a fourth-place 82 at Pine Lakes on Sept. 28).”

Bellino has seen Rapp’s growth.

“She’s very focused and determined and just a joy to coach,” Bellino said. “She’s not easily distracted. She told me going into this season that her goal is to become a four-time state qualifier and I’d say she’s well on her way to that. We’ve talked about her being in the 160 range at state this year and I think she’s peaking at the right time. She averaged around 42 per nine holes in the regular season, but in the final weeks, she was almost always near 38 or 39. So she’s on target and we’d like to see her right around 160-somewhere.”

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