What had been built, for nearly a decade, by the Fayetteville-Manlius girls golf team came to full fruition this spring.
In 17 matches in 2007, the Hornets were never beaten, a first in the program's history. F-M also won the overall team and individual titles at the Section III championships on May 30 at Green Lakes State Park.
And in a fitting climax to the whole thing, senior Jillian Fraccola earned the state individual championship last weekend at Foxfire in Baldwinsville.
With a first-round 77, Fraccola worked her way into second place, one shot behind Jeanne Waters (Section XI, Sayville), who led with a round of 76.
F-M held its senior prom that night, but Fraccola left early, conserving her energy for the big 18 holes that lay ahead.
Playing with calm precision, Fraccola improved to a 75 on Sunday, as Waters shot 80. Dani Mullin (West Islip) shot her own 75, but finished second, one shot behind as, with a total of 152, Fraccola earned the state championship. Oswego's Corrin Conroy (155) finished third.
This proved to be the ideal climax to a dream season where the Hornets, both on a team and individual basis, met with nothing but victory.
Under head coach Anne Miller and assistant Tom Chaddock, F-M had flirted with perfection the previous four years. During that time, the Hornets went 48-6, capped off by a 13-1 record in 2005 and a 12-1 mark in '06.
This time around, the Hornets had a peculiar mix on its roster. It didn't have any freshmen or sophomores, meaning that older players (juniors and seniors) would need to blend in with a group of seven girls still in seventh or eighth grade.
The two players at the top symbolized this blend. Fraccola was a senior, bound for Richmond University, but she was pushed all year by eighth-grader Alex Seabury, already among the top talents in the area.