By Melissa McCaghren
Slaton High School golfer JD Hogan competed in the Regional Golf Tournament April 19-22 at Shady Oaks Country Club in Baird.
Although he did not qualify for the State tournament, Head Coach Louisa Gonzales was pleased at how Hogan did.
“I am so proud of JD and his performance at the Regional tournament. He got a practice round in on Sunday and got a feel for the Shady Oaks course, which by the way, is absolutely gorgeous. There are lots of trees and a few water hazards,” she said.
“He felt good going into round one on Monday, teeing off at 8:09 a.m. It was cool in the morning but the rest of the day was fantastic. JD shot a 95, not his best, but pretty darn good after his injury,” she said.
The next day of competition however, was another story, said Gonzales.
“It was cold and windy. Terrible golf weather. But after the season we had, the weather we played in, JD was conditioned for it and played even better than the day before and shot an 85,” she said. “It wasn’t quite enough to get him to the State tournament but considering everything he has overcome, it was one heck of a performance and an amazing experience. A great way to end his high school career.” As the season ends for the golf team, Gonzales said she will be graduating two seniors, Hogan and Bryson Boyd.
“I enjoyed coaching these guys, three of their four years. They have been great leaders for our very young team. We have a strong core returning next season,” she said.
That said, this season will be the last Gonzales will coach, but isn’t the last at SHS.
“I will be working as the full time counselor at the high school which will require me to be on campus the majority of my day to service our students,” she said.
“I am so grateful to Coach (Tiffany) Potts for believing in me and giving me a chance to coach a sport. I’ve always wanted to coach, and golf helped me realize that dream! I am forever grateful for the time I had with these kids. Coach (Austin) Wood was an amazing mentor, I learned so much from him.”
She also thanked Athletic Director Lawrence Johnson for giving her the chance to coach, and everyone who supported the team, one that had ups and downs more to weather than COVID, which canceled last season.
“I want to thank everyone for all the support that they have provided to our golf program. Our Athletic Booster Club has been one of our greatest supporters. They have helped us build up our program by helping us purchase equipment and clothing,” she said.