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Fiser takes over top spot for Raiders, wins Sun/Rotary POY
Kayla Fiser is no stranger to pressure situations.
The senior was a key part for the seven-time city champion Cibola basketball team. She qualified for the state tournament in track this year.
So taking over the No. 1 spot on the Cibola golf team for a two-time player of the year was child's play.
Moving into the top spot for Yesong Han — who transferred to play her senior year at powerhouse Hamilton — Fiser averaged a 43 every nine holes to win the Yuma Sun/Yuma Rotary Club 2013 Girls Golf Player of the Year award.
“Playing three sports keeps me busy, but it does keep my competitive nature up,” said Fiser. “I was really happy to step into the leading spot this year. I hope I made everyone proud with what I did.”
Han won the past two player of the year awards with the Raiders before transferring to Hamilton for her senior year, finishing fourth in the state and third on the team at the state tournament as the Huskies took second. That left Fiser to take over the role as the team's No. 1 golfer.
Coach Chad Williams said Fiser's experience with other sports — not only has she made three Sun/Rotary golf teams, she has been named to the track all-region team twice — helped her handle the pressure of being the team's best.
“It's really helped her become a competitor and learn how to compete,” Williams said. “She got used to the pressure of playing in the No. 1 spot, and it really helped her in her senior year.”
Fiser did not qualify for the state tournament, making a qualifying score two of the five times necessary to make the state tournament. During her freshman and sophomore years, a Yuma team was guaranteed a state berth. That changed last year when qualifying became a lot more exclusive.
“It was really hard for us,” Fiser said. “But I mean, we still had that goal. It's a little harder but we worked towards it, and even as an individual seeing that my team was young this year, I worked hard. Even though I missed it by a few strokes, I was proud of my season.”
Williams said Fiser handled it in stride.
“It's really tough,” Williams said. “Some courses are easier than others. They've set the bar pretty high for qualifying. Those golfers that do make it to the state tournament are truly the elite of the whole state.”
The team had its trouble on the year, losing to Gila Ridge and Lake Havasu “routinely,” according to Williams. While having Han would have made the Raiders more competitive, Fiser said she was extremely happy with the way the year played out.
“It would have been a lot of fun. Yesong is a character and I had a lot of fun playing with her,” Fiser said. “It would have been a lot more interesting to have her as my goal, as who I'm trying to catch up to, having her right there next to me like I did last year.
“I feel like being the leader, I had to push myself anyway. So it was just as interesting this year as it was last year.”
With Fiser gone next year, Williams said the team will not be the same in either the mental or physical aspects of the game.
“By far we'll miss her attitude. It was fun to have her at practice. Every day she showed up with a smile on her face. She always lightened the mood and liked to joke around, and that made it a lot more fun. She'll be missed.”