Mia Shapiro and Emma Youman of Oak Park and River Forest

Oak Park and River Forest golfers Mia Shapiro and Emma Youman have helped their team make school history. (Mia Shapiro photo)

In their golf program’s short history, Oak Park and River Forest golfers Mia Shapiro and Emma Youman have earned their spots in the record books. Last season, the seniors and co-captains helped the Huskies win their first regional championship in school history. This season, both Shapiro and Youman have the state tournament on their minds.

Names: Mia Shapiro and Emma Youman

Age/year in school: 17/Seniors

Hometown: Oak Park

Sport: Golf

How long have you played golf?

Shapiro: Four years.

Youman: I started when I was eight years old, but didn’t get competitive until the summer before my freshman year.

What do you love most about golf?

Shaprio: The constant challenge against you. I’m on a team with seven other girls but when it comes time for a match I’m only playing to beat my own score.

Youman: The complexity of the sport. I love challenging myself. Every shot requires focus and precision, which on a bad day can be discouraging. But when I have a good day, the rewarding feeling that comes along with that success makes the game entirely worth it.

What are your goals for the upcoming season? How will you achieve them?

Shapiro: To remain consistent and beat my scores from last year. My goals for the team are to win regionals, go to sectionals as a team, and have someone go to state.

Youman: To make it to state at the end of the season. This will require lots of practice both physically and mentally. Golf is a mental game, and what I really need to focus on this season is getting in the zone and keeping control out on the course.

How do you motivate yourself to train during the summer?

Shapiro: By knowing in my mind what will come of my hard work. Golf is an extremely mental sport and you have to want it more than anyone else wants it.

Youman: I remind myself of my goal to qualify for state and just how rewarding the game can be when everything falls into place.

Who has inspired you most in your athletic endeavors?

Shapiro: My dad. He got me started in golf and he’s been there for me every step of the way. He was my first coach and first role model. He never gave up on me and he never will. I wouldn’t be where I am today in my golf career if it wasn’t for him. I can never thank him enough for the amount of time and money he has put in for me. No matter what my score is, as long as I’m giving it my all, he’ll always be proud of me.