Otter Valley Union High’s Mia Politano grew up with golf and she grew up a lot over the summer. Winning the Junior Championship at the 2020 Vermont Women’s Amateur in August on the Dorset Field Club layout was impressive in its own right.
What was really attention grabbing, though, was that way she stood up to a field of far more experienced players, finishing fourth overall in the Amateur.
Look out, there’s a new kid on the block and she might be around for some time.
The two-time defending Division II high school state champion did not defend her crown this season, but Politano did finish second to Lake Region’s Tia Martinez.
She was an easy choice as the Rutland Herald Female Golfer of the Year on the high school circuit.
Otter Valley coach Lisa King has come to appreciate her top golfer and all of her attributes.
One of those is for the way she handles the mental component of the sport.
“She can shake off a bad shot and then make a beautiful shot. That’s what golf is all about,” King said.
Growing up with a father who is the head pro at Ralph Myhre Golf Course in Middlebury, Politano has absorbed golf’s lessons like a sponge.
“She knows the game extremely well and she has a fiery passion for the game. She is really motivated,” King said.
Driving? Putting? Chipping? King finds it hard to identify any facet of the game as a strength or weakness in her senior.
“She is a very well-rounded player,” the coach said.
King had a large turnout for the OV team this fall. A benefit of COVID meant the team had flexible hours to practice at Neshobe Golf Club.
“Neshobe was really good for us with its range and chipping area. It was a nice way to build a program,” King said.
Politano is a student of the game but is equally impressive as a student in the classroom.
“She is a top-notch honors student,” King said. “She is very well disciplined and motivated. She has taken independent courses and college level courses.”
King also believes Politano will make the transition to college golf without missing a beat.
“Paul (Mia’s father) will guide her through all of that process,” King said.
This fall was a whirlwind for Mia. She was a dual sport athlete. She and her sister Elena were the heart and soul of the Otters on the soccer field.
A 4-3 victory in a big game over Mount St. Joseph was representative of the sisters’ contributions. Mia had three of the goals and Elena the other. Mia also assisted on Elena’s goal.
“Mia and Elena work so well together,” OV coach Tami Blanchard said after the game.
King will miss Mia Politano when she turns her tassel in June.
The same could be said of Blanchard, basketball coach Kelly Trayah, softball coach Toni Poalino and all the teachers who were fortunate enough to have Mia sitting in their classroom.