A lone Rutland Raiders golf bag stood by the 1st hole tee box at Proctor Pittsford Country Club Tuesday. It was used by last year's Division one medalist, Carly Ferro. Her life was tragically cut short last September.
"We all have thought of her all year," Rutland Golf Coach Rich Alberti said. "Sometimes it's been tough to go to tournaments. You have a lot of memories."
Ferro was killed in a chain reaction crash, started by a man who police say was huffing chemicals behind the wheel. Ferro was leaving her part time job and getting into her father's car when she was struck.
"We used to play junior golf together before she was in high school and all I can remember is that smile," Rutland High freshman golfer Chloe Levins said.
Since golf was Carly's passion and purple was her favorite color, the Raiders wore purple shirts all season. The shirts had an angel on the sleeve and Carly's initials on the back. The team also was given purple hats with an angel on the front just as they were to tee off Tuesday.
"When my coach Mr. Alberti told us that we were going to get them at the beginning of the year, it was really nice," Rutland High Sophomore Allison Wolf said.
The Raiders say Carly's presence was definitely felt throughout the day at the golf course. One example was following a bad tee shot by Wolf.
"Probably would have been 20 yards into the woods," Wolf said. "Instead it ended up hitting off a tree and being in the middle of the fairway. There's no explanation for that."
The Rutland Girls returned the favor to Carly by winning a second straight state title.
"We've won quite a few, but this sort of tugged at my heart strings," Alberti said. "There's some sadness, but there's also some joy in the fact that she was such a wonderful upbeat person. These kids are also wonderful and upbeat and I love them all."
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