With only three girls on the golf team last year, head coach Lonnie Goad’s team doubled heading into this year allowing Sealy to compete with a full varsity roster.
The full roster brought to each tournament is capped at five with the top four scores being taken to total up a whole score at the end of play.
Last year, all of the girls competed individually while this year they are able to play as a whole team and their first chance was up in Navasota at Pine Lakes Course.
Coach Goad mentioned that although there is plenty of youth on his team, the couple of junior leaders will look to right the ship with their expertise shining through.
Maddie Goad and Sloan Strickland were some of coach Goad’s top performers last year and although his own daughter is one taking up a roster spot, he doesn’t give her any sort of special attention.
When asked if he is a little harder on his own child, he responded with “Obviously a little harder but I’d say the expectations are just higher because of her experience,” coach Goad said.
He also added that with so much space to cover over the course of the 18 holes, there is little time left for the coach to keep his watchful eye over his seed.
“There are acres on a golf course,” he said. “I’m bouncing around for a couple shots here a shot there a couple more here. I really don’t have the time to watch Maddie’s every shot.”
Goad advanced through to the state tournament last year, registering a 30th-place finish in the entire state although the Tigers nearly had a duo of state representatives.
Strickland was hot on Goad’s heels all year and finished just three strokes shy of advancing to regionals where she could have punched her ticket to state along with her classmate, but maybe that will be how this year ends up.
It began in Navasota, where Sealy finished the first day of competition just eight strokes behind third place.
Goad shot an 86 to lead her team and also register a third-place seat individually after day one.
Emily Luther wasn’t far behind with 111 and Strickland was hot on her behind with a 114-stroke round. Lindsey Dziadek shot a 125 to round out the varsity scores with 436 total strokes good enough for a fourth-place spot heading into Saturday’s second day of play.
Rayne Wallace was the team’s extra shooter and her play was corralled with the junior-varsity ranks being the fifth participant from Sealy, registering a 121-stroke first day.
The next day of competition was much of the same with Goad leading the way, shooting a 90 to float in with a fifth-place overall finish to start her year.
Luther was next with 109 and Strickland after her with 116 before Dziadek’s 122 rounded out a 437 total for the Lady Tigers. Over both days of competition Sealy registered 863 shots to complete the 18-hole course twice, good enough for a fourth-place finish overall in the 10-team tournament.
At the end of the day, coach Goad hopes it will be the start of a long season for his squad but he knows there should be some enjoyment as well and he reminds his team often; “Have fun, keep swinging and you’ll get better.”