By Melissa McCaghren
School might be over early for the year, but the celebrations continued for Senior Mike Solis and his family.
Solis signed his agreement to play golf for McMurry University Saturday afternoon (April 25) at his home with his family.
“I chose McMurry University close to my family and friends. Also (I chose them) because they are a top 20 team in the nation for division three schools and it also offers a really good physical therapy program that I will pursue my career in,” he said. “I am looking forward to meeting new people as well as experiencing the golf program. I also can’t wait to meet my teammates and coaching staff.”
Head Coach Louisa Gonzales said she was proud of Solis for his accomplishments. “We are excited that this isn’t the end of Micheal’s journey. It has been quite a while since we’ve had anyone continue to play at the collegiate level,” she said. “We want to wish him the best of luck at McMurry University and thank him for all his contributions to our Slaton High School Golf program. Go War Hawks.”
Solis said it was hard at first to play sports his first two years in high school, mostly because of his size.
His heart was bigger though. “My career at Slaton High School was a lot of fun. Being in a small town and having to prove yourself everyday was a big obstacle,” he said. “I am really glad I came out on top after all my years at Slaton. I will miss how hard the competition was and how everyone in this small town supported me in every way.”
Gonzales also found that support every day with Solis, a Regional qualifier in 2019. “He worked hard all summer to improve his swing and his short game. He invited his teammates, JD and Ryan, to join him on the course as well. He realized that they were the returning lettermen this season and would have to be strong leaders to anyone joining us this season,” she said. “Micheal took our new player and our freshmen players under his wing. He coached them and helped them understand the game. Our Tiger team improved with each tournament.”
“I was really excited about the direction we were heading. We will always wonder how far we could have gone this season.”
How far indeed: the COVID-19 pandemic lead to the decision by UIL to cancel the rest of the 2020 spring sports year.
Solis said it had a major impact on his senior year. “COVID-19 has impacted my season by not letting me leave Slaton with the big statement I wanted to. I wanted to leave Slaton by going to State but I believe in God and trusted him after our season got canceled,” he said. “It affected my teammates by not letting me teach them more and progress them as much as we would like. Also it took away the chance of me bonding more with my teammates and getting to know them better. I wish I could’ve finished my season with my team because I know we would’ve killed District and made it to Regionals.”
Solis plans to major in kinesiology and become a physical therapist. “I chose to study this because I was always the injured kid when it came to sports and wanted to learn more about the human body,” he said. “After having surgery my sophomore season and having to go to rehab for my shoulder made me really want to become a therapist because of how they treated everyone and because it can make a difference in someone’s life just like Nick did for me.”
Solis is the son of JP Solis and stepson of Jessica Valdez, he has two brothers, Gabriel and Elijah Solis, a step brother, Xavier Ramirez and a step sister, Gabby Ramirez. His grandparents are Mary Solis and Alfonso Solis.
He would like to thank his girlfriend, Kelsey Salazar and her mom, Jessica, and his family for their help supporting his decisions and being by his side all these years.