By Melissa McCaghren
The Slaton Tiger and Tigerette golf teams have been busy competing in several tournaments this season.
In their most recent tournament, the Coahoma Invitational at the Comanche Trail Golf Course in Big Spring, the girls placed third while the boys finished in fifth.
“We had a great time playing a new course. It was beautiful. We played against some pretty tough competition. I couldn’t be prouder of this team of Tiger and Tigerette golfers,” said Coach Louisa Gonzales of the team’s efforts.
That said, she was not sure she’d be talking about the Tiger golf teams this season: She was nervous about being the new head coach.
“I was really worried when I took over this team this summer that no one would come out and play golf. There were so many students who signed up saying they were interested in playing,” she said. “I ended up with 15 golfers, including several who had never swung a club, much less set foot on a golf course.
With more players than before, came some other challenges.
“With this many new golfers competing, my other concern was providing uniforms and equipment. God definitely answered my prayers. We have some amazing people in our community and golf world who support us,” said Gonzales. “Former SHS teacher and avid golfer Debra Atkins and Caylene Caddell donated a couple of sets of clubs and balls, Slaton grad and golfer Stephen Rodriguez and a buddy donated more clubs and bags that I ever dreamed a team could own.”
Businesses have also helped out. Chad Wilson of the Slaton Bakery gave the players a sleeve of golf balls stamped with the bakery’s logo on them. “(He did that) in hopes that they would make our tournament scores a little ‘sweeter’,” joked Gonzales.
The Slaton Athletic Booster Club also did what it does best: help the athletes succeed by supporting them.
“With the help of our dedicated and remarkable Athletic Booster Club each golfer is fitted with a new polo, cap and pullover – each embroidered with the Slaton striped ‘S’. They wore them with pride this last tournament and represented our school extremely well,” she said.
There has also been help from other golfers to help the Tigers improve their game and practice as they near District competition.
This is especially needed as Slaton does not have a course of its own.
“Our friends at T-Bar Country Club in Tahoka worked with us to give all our golfers valuable of time on their course after school,” said Gonzales. “We have been able to spend some extended time on the course to help us improve our game.”
The Tigers and Tigerettes will compete in round one of District March 30, in Denver City, then the second April 6 at Reese Golf Course in Lubbock.
“I want to publicly thank everyone who has supported these young Tigers and Tigerettes and have helped us build our program this year,” said Gonzales.
“We look forward to competing at each of our remaining tournaments and bringing home more plaques.”