NCT’s Dross: Second to none

Alexis Dross                                                                                                                                         Photo by JOE DiCRISTOFALO

GIRLS GOLF

Three-time state qualifier

led the county in scoring

as a junior and as a senior

By TONY CASTRO

HernandoSport.com

At the conclusion of the 2016 and 2017 girls golf seasons, Nature Coast Technical’s Alexis Briana Dross was considered the county’s second-best linkster.

Alexis Dross

That’s what happens when you’re a step behind the Sharks’ two-time Player of the Year Skylar Muscianese.

But from the first tee to FHSAA State Finals at Mission Inn in Lake County in 2018, the 5-foot-5, 125-pound Dross was second to none.

Why?

Dross, 18, finally concluded a season with some gusto.

After leading all Hernando County golfers in scoring in 2017 – including Muscianese by a whisker 42.0-42.1 – Dross lowered that ceiling to a personal-best 39.9 average.

That marked the third straight varsity campaign she had lowered her stroke average – tying a county record.

Skylar Muscianese

Most importantly, after performing in the shadows of Muscianese for three seasons, Dross took center stage this fall.

After a fine regular season, she captured the pressure-packed Class 2A, District 13 and the Class 2A, Region V individual medalist honors in back-to-back brilliant efforts at Hudson’s Meadow Oaks Golf Club and Zephyrhills’ Silverado G&CC.

With the individual wins, the life-long Hernando County resident tied Muscianese’s school record of reaching the FHSAA State Finals three times.

She closed out her prep career placing 24th overall in the elite field along the treacherous Las Colinas course.

After the season, Dross was feted for her dominating efforts by being named All-Hernando County for a fourth time – duplicating Muscianese’s school record.

Furthermore, she was lauded as the county’s Player of the Year.

Leaving a legacy

By being tabbed POY, Dross joined ex-Sharks Aspen Dukes (2005) and Muscianese (2015-17) as the county’s best.

Aspen Dukes

 

In doing so, Dross broke Muscianese’s career record for most nine-hole match scores, 67-64.

Her four-year scoring average of 43.2 is second only to Muscianese’s 42.4.

Amazingly, she helped guide NCT to four county titles and four district team titles – besides three state appearances.

Area coaches were unified in her selection as the area’s best.

David Pisarcik

“Alexis really focused on her game. We knew she was gonna have a big season based solely on what she does in practice,” stressed NCT’s fourth-year mentor David Pisarcik. “She demonstrated day in and day out that she’s one of the best players to ever come from Hernando County.

“… As her game matured, she flourished. That 76 in districts propelled us to a district championship. That score reflected her efforts and how solid the team was… Her game? She’s happy where’s she at, but she has the potential for so much better. She’s got so many shots in her bag; it’s amazing.

“… I agree that she can play collegiately. She sometimes didn’t play as well as she hoped – like at states, but she has collegiate ability. … Her mental toughness separates her from others,” added the Sharks’ mentor.

“… She helped take Nature Coast to places we haven’t been before. In a word, she’s a leader. When she’s gone, I’m gonna miss her ability and her type of talent … I feel fortunate to have coached two of the best female golfers this county has ever seen in Skylar and Alexis … We’ve been playing on the last day of golf season for three straight years; that’s a testament to what she’s done here.”

“Throughout the season, she was so consistent. In the post-season, she elevated her game to the top level,” shared Springstead‘s first-year skipper Sarah Bell. “Players like Alexis (Dross) pushed players like Kayleigh (Marquart). What stood out was her focus. Just look at her technique and her swing.”

“Dross has worked hard for everything … She’s been very helpful and great with our girls. Her attitude is very good,” added Hernando High’s Casey Ellis.

Her reaction?

“The way I was playing, I didn’t want to mess up,” she said. “I didn‘t go out with the intention of being the best. I just wanted to do the best I could.”

Tracing her roots

Alexis was born at Spring Hill Regional as the oldest of three children to Damien and Amanda Dross.

Contrary to popular belief, the brown-tressed and brown-eyed Dross wasn’t raised on a golf course.

Her initial organized sport was soccer, playing for the Hernando Heat at 5 years old for two seasons.

Next, arrived a two-year stint with softball where she alternated between first base and shortstop.

She recalls playing basketball at the Hernando County Family YMCA in Spring Hill for five years.

She even played I-9 flag football for almost four seasons alternating between quarterback and wide receiver.

In middle school, she attended Powell.

As a sixth-grader, she played junior varsity basketball and golf and concentrated on the 800 meters during track and field season.

As a seventh-grader she made the varsity basketball team for the Panthers and helped guide the golf team to the county title.

In track, she threw the discus while also sticking with the half-mile.

During her eighth grade campaign, she completed her second season at the varsity level in hoops, and enabled the golf team to defend its county title.

In the spring, she branched out as a member of the 4×400 relay squad and 800 meters.

Nature Coast’s Alexis Dross shoots against Citrus High in the Class 6A, District 7 Tournament at Weeki Wachee High. Photo by JOE DiCRISTOFALO

Upon matriculating to NCT, Dross completed four seasons of golf under four-time Coach of the Year Pisarcik and three seasons of basketball under Emily Gore.

Outside of athletics, she was a member of school’s Key Club and Students Against Tobacco.

As a freshman, she played junior varsity basketball, before being promoted to the varsity squad.

Dross was a member of the video production cluster under Ian Wald.

Favorite sports

Dross readily admits to having two favorite sports – golf and basketball – but for different reasons.

“I love the team atmosphere of basketball. It was like we were all sisters on the court,” offered Dross. “We all had each other’s back.”

The hardest part about hoops, “Was staying mentally in each game,” replied Alexis. “No mattered what happens, you’ve got to control your anger. You learn to walk away.”

Golf, she added, was completely different.

“My biggest improvement in golf was with my mental approach,” noted Dross. “In golf, you’ve gotta keep it together. It’s a humbling sport. One day you can shoot six-under par, the next day you shoot big numbers. I‘ve learned that you can’t let one bad shot affect your round.”

Dross doesn‘t hide the fact that she continues to work on all facets of her golf game.

“In golf, you have to be consistent in everything to compete.”

Dross drew strength from her relationship with Muscianese.

“We were both super close. I thought we were motivating each other. I felt my biggest competition was playing against myself, ” she offered.

Retracing her fabulous senior year, “I think taking a year off from basketball allowed me to focus on just one sport: golf. It also helped that I grew up as a person and my mentality changed, too.

“This was a different year. As a team, we were always looking for our fourth-best score.”

Team bonding solidified Dross’ resolve.

“Honestly, I wouldn’t have done what I did without all my teammates encouraging me. They were like my sisters. We stayed connected the whole season,” she recalled.

When Dross aggravated an old right knee injury and didn’t finish her senior season of basketball, she looked at it as another opportunity.

“After my (basketball) Senior Night, I just focused on my golf career. I didn’t want to try and push it and get hurt even worse by coming back.”

SHARK SENIORS – Class of 2019 NCT Sharks includes (left to right): Alexis Dross and Alexa Dono. Photo by TONY CASTRO

With commencement exercises drawing ever closer, Dross explained how she wanted to be remembered, “I’d like to be remembered as a good person. I’d like to be known for my personality, not just what I did in golf.”

While emptying another bucket of practice balls at Southern Hills she added what she’ll miss the most, “I’m gonna miss Coach Pisarcik and everyone else here.”

By the Numbers: NCT’s Alexis Dross (2015-18)

– Compiled by TONY CASTRO

Alexis Dross
 

YR.

 

MATCH

 

STROKES

 

AVG.

2015*

12

558

46.5

2016$*

19

860

45.3

2017$*

19

798

42.0

2018$*^

17

679

39.9

 

–4

 

67

 

2,895

 

43.2

$ Denotes FHSAA State Finals qualifier.

* Denotes All-Hernando County selection.

^ Denotes All-Hernando County Player of the Year.

2018

 

OPP

 

SITE

 

RESULT

SPG

@ Southern Hills

40

CEN

@ Southern Hills

40

MUSTANG

@ East Bay GC (18)

47-49–96

WW

@ Silverthorn CC

38

WW

@ GlenLakes

36

HER

@ Brooksville GC

38

CEN

@ Silverthorn CC

35

WGR

@ Tampa’s Pebble Creek GC

40

2A-13

@ The Dunes GC (18)

41-37–78

2A-V

@ Silverados G&CC (18)

38-38–76

2A States

@ Mission Inn’s Las Colinas (18)

43-40–83

2A States

@ Mission Inn’s Las Colinas (18)

40-39–79

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