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The Highlander

The Student News Site of McLean High School

The Highlander

The Student News Site of McLean High School

The Highlander

Vadas swings into states

Senior’s impressive golf season leads to a strong finish at states
Max+Vadas+tees+off+at+Army+Navy+Country+Club+against+Washington+Liberty+High+School.
Kent Arnold
Max Vadas tees off at Army Navy Country Club against Washington Liberty High School.

In his three years on varsity, senior Max Vadas made a big impact on McLean’s golf program. After achieving the title of captain, MVP and consistent leading player, Vadas also became the only player to compete in the 2023 state tournament.

“It was a goal he and I had talked about individually, and it was a really good experience for him to go out and showcase his talent,” head coach Ryan Abrams said. “His work ethic is top notch, his talent is really really good, [and] just his talent and ability is really fun to watch.”

Although McLean’s team fell short of qualifying for states, Vadas himself finished third overall at regionals, individually advancing him to states. The state tournament was held at Heritage Oaks Golf Course, which hosted 120 golfers. Vadas shot 79, placing 26th overall.

“This was my first time going to states,” Vadas said. “I had a rough day, unfitting for such a good season leading up to that.”

Vadas collected numerous achievements throughout the season, including leading his team to districts and regionals. He also set a team record for lowest score, shooting 32 in McLean’s tri-match against Langley and Yorktown, resulting in an unexpected win for the Highlanders.

“It’s all about practicing [and] putting in the hours,” Vadas said. “Over the summer, I was golfing every day, [for] at least 4-5 hours, which set me up for a good season.”

Vadas has been golfing since the age of 4, but only began playing competitively a year and a half ago. His intense love for golf started in 2020, when the Covid-19 pandemic shut everything down and golf became the only way to get out of the house.

“[Golf] is a nice way to clear your head,” Vadas said. “You can just go out after school and be with yourself, it’s a good way to relax.”

Although an individual sport, there’s a certain unison amongst Mclean’s golf team that helped them win numerous matches and advance to regionals together.

“The level of friendship we [had] this year [was] truly special,” junior Alex Mallus said. “We had a positive atmosphere of enjoying ourselves, but also work[ing] hard, and I always felt like I was part of something more important than myself.”

As one of two captains, Vadas plays a large part in forming that bond and keeping spirits high throughout the season.

“I can’t say enough good things about Max,” Abrams said. “[His] leadership is fantastic, making everybody feel included within the team, which builds team camaraderie, and makes everybody play better.”

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