NEWS

Ellie Kotrady hits hole-in-one

PAT FRIDGEN, Echo Pilot
Ellie Kotrady

Ellie Kotrady and Jeremy Eby may be duking it out over who was more excited on a normally sedate golf course.

Ellie, a senior on the Greencastle-Antrim High School varsity golf team, shot a hole-in-one last Thursday at Whitetail Golf Course. The Blue Devils were competing against Chambersburg, Waynesboro, James Buchanan, Gettysburg and Shippensburg high schools in a Mid Penn Colonial Division golf match.

“I said, ‘What?’, and looked at Nick (Franki, Waynesboro). I couldn’t believe it,” she said. “I screamed. It was a great feeling to get onto a green and not putt at all.”

She had used a light stroke with a 7-iron, and aimed for the flag of hole No. 6. The ball landed just left and rolled about eight feet into the cup, 126 yards from the red tee.

Coach Eby was on the other side of the course when word quickly reached him.

“I was pretty excited,” he said. “It’s very unusual and has never happened to someone I’ve coached.”

He headed over to the green to congratulate Ellie, who was all smiles.

“She was still in match mode because she had many holes left,” he continued. “So she was calm. I was more excited than she was.”

Eby and the rest of the team were proud and happy for her accomplishment, which many golfers never achieve. She got it out of the way at age 17.

“This wasn’t even on my bucket list,” Ellie said.

Hoping to play golf at the collegiate level, she was glad to be able to tack one more detail onto her applications.

She expressed a little dismay though, since it was not a different type of tournament, with big rewards for a hole-in-one.

"Where are the Lincolns when you need it?”

Ellie took up a club at age 9, and began competitive play three years later. She joined the school team in ninth grade. She appreciates Eby’s support in the emotional aspect of the game.

Eby considers her a solid player, a hard worker and the best female golfer in the league. She is the third girl he has coached and he hopes she will finish in the top 10 in the Mid Penn tournament to advance to district play.

Ellie finished the meet with an 87, tied for 10th and the top female scorer. The Blue Devils placed fourth.

Ellie took an interest in the sport because she wanted to hang out with her dad and other guys in the family when they went on vacation. They would partner up and hit the links.

Since she has proven her mettle in recent years, “now they want to be on my team.”