1. Alex Casi
Our athlete of the year may be familiar to you; Alexandra Casi of East Palestine was also our top female track and field athlete last spring. To call her a multi-sport athlete wouldn't do her justice. One thing is for sure; her opponents in the Tri-County League, regardless of what sport she beat them at, will be glad to see her receive her diploma at graduation in June. She shot a 156 to place second in the state golf tournament on Ohio State University's Gray Course in October. Her performance was typically consistent, as she shot 77 and 79 over the two-day, 36-hole event. She won the state long jump title as a freshman and junior, but enjoys the challenge around the links more than on the oval. "You have to be mentally alert for four to five hours" on the golf course, says her father and coach, Stephan. With track, she says, 'I run for 12 seconds and it's over.' " Alex's success has a lot to do with her physical abilities, but also by developing visualization techniques and listening to motivational speakers, which has improved her mental approach. "Since she was a freshman, she's always had the physical ability," says Stephan. "But the mental aspect has really made the difference."
X Grade: Senior.
X Positive influence: "My Dad has been a positive influence in my athletic career because he has always had faith in my abilities. He has been on my side through good and bad times. He has taught me more about golf than anyone else. He has taken a lot of time out of his life to help me pursue my dreams. I don't think he has missed one of my tournaments."
X Memory from the season: "My best memory from the season was when I shot a 4-under-par 31 at Valley Golf Club. I had five birdies, one bogey and three pars. But to tell the truth, the best memory was watching the boys' faces as they watched me shoot the 31!"
X Future plans: "My immediate plans are to play Division I college golf and achieve a successful academic career. My long-range plan is to be the next star on the LPGA!"
2. Amanda Davis
X Grade: 12
X Positive influence: "My mom is a golf teacher at Copeland Hills and she's always been helping me. I wanted to quit a lot, and she would never let me. She told me I could do it no matter what."
X Memory from the season: "I had fun with one of my teammates, Brandon Heck. We were the only two seniors."
X Future plans: "I haven't decided on which college I will attend, but I might study cosmetology."
3. Emily Andrews
X Grade: Senior.
X Positive influence: "A person who has had a positive influence in my athletic career would be my golf coach, Coach Cooley. He has always motivated me to do my best and he has been a great supporter of me."
X Memory from the season: "One of my most memorable moments from this season would be beating Canfield to be co-MAC champs. Another was shooting a 39 against Kennedy to help win the match."
X Future plans: "I want to attend Kent State and be a member of the golf team."
4. Kelly Baytos
X Grade: Junior.
X Positive influence: "My father, John Baytos, because he has always given me support and the chance to improve on my game."
X Memory from the season: "Earning second place at sectionals and being able to compete at districts as an individual."
X Future plans: "I plan to go to college and play golf there. I am undecided on a career."
5. Felicia Ciotola
X Grade: Sophomore.
X Positive influence: "My golf instructor, Ted Ossoff. He has given me confidence and encouragement. Also, my golf coach, Mrs. Diane McCall, who has been very supportive in my high school golf career."
X Memory from the season: "The most exciting moment was when I got my season-low score of 38."
X Future plans: "Next year, I hope my team qualifies for the state tournament. Long term, I hope to play college golf."