Arabians finish top 10 in Region 4 golf tournament

The Devine Arabian golf team had a fantastic second-day showing at Oso Beach Golf Course in Corpus Christi. After shooting a disheartening 446 on the first day, the Arabians rebounded nicely to shoot a 414 that moved them up in the rankings to a 10th place overall finish at Regional.
I truly believe our girls went out on Monday trying to shoot a score that maybe was a little too difficult to achieve on the Oso Beach course. Each player wanted to play so well for not only themselves but for their teammates that they did not relax enough to hit good shots consistently. One poor shot resulted in more poor shots too often. Great scores like the ones we shot on the Uvalde course where we played and won district back in the first week of April are tougher to accomplish under the pressure and demanding greens that were present in Corpus Christi.
We went in to the tournament as the seventh place team overall but fell all the way to 13th after the 446 first day round. The team could have fallen as low as 15th with another bad day or they could have climbed as high as ninth, which became our new goal. Bouncing back the way they did on the second day to shoot a 414 shows a lot about their competitiveness and their refusal to settle for anything lower. I am pleased with each of their second day performances as it provides good motivation and great vibes going into next season.
Finishing 10th in the region is not where we set our sights but it does not take away from the successes, the improvements made, and the fun that we all had together while enjoying the ride to a Devine Tournament championship, a District 29-4A championship, and a Region 4 top 10 finish. We had three players returning from the 2017 team and 3 new additions to not only the team but new to the game of golf. Each made vast improvements as the season progressed.
Kayla Busby was our number one player throughout the past two seasons and will become an even better player as a senior due to the amount of time and energy she puts into her game. Kayla won the Devine Tournament after a playoff with Preslee, and was the District 29-4A individual champion. Kayla can smash her drive (which is really, really fun to watch by the way) and will work more on her short game during the offseason. She continually pushes herself to be the best each time she tees up a ball, which is probably why her first day score was so upsetting to her; she expected much better. A phenomenal thing about Kayla is even though she was disappointed in herself she still had joy for her teammates that played well, which says a lot about her as a person. I could not be more proud of her for that fact alone as I am sure her parents are as well.
“Regional was a good opportunity for our whole team to improve,” Kayla expressed. “I am going to practice more in the offseason to get my score down and I am going to be a leader by keeping other team members playing during the summer. Hopefully, everyone has a chance to go to state next year to make more memories!”
Shelby Spivey was either our number two or three player during the season and picked up her game at Corpus to become the Arabian’s number one player on Tuesday. That accomplishment had to be a tremendous feeling for her. After a 4th place finish in district, Shelby shot a 107 the first day of Regional then followed that up with a 108 on day two. Shelby’s game is continually improving and she will without a doubt routinely bust the 90’s next year as a senior after shooting back-to-back 126’s at Regional as a sophomore. That is quite an improvement. She puts an incredible amount of pressure on herself to shoot good shots every time she swings a club and to have good scores so the overall team score will be up there with the other top teams. Shelby will be the most veteran player next season and her scores will resemble that of a seasoned player. I am really looking forward to how much she grows as a player by the time we start practice again.
“I was hoping to do much better than I did but was still satisfied overall with the outcome,” Shelby stated. “I had so much fun with my teammates and I can’t wait to go back next year. My personal goals for next year include shooting in the 80’s and to place in the top three at the district meet. A team goal will be to achieve back-to-back district championships and to enter regional as a top three team. Going to state of course is our ultimate goal.”
Preslee Quisenberry, who seemingly represents DISD in nearly every extracurricular activity that the school has to offer, also had a great second day compared to her first round score. She, just like Shelby and Kayla, puts a lot of pressure on herself to perform well so the team score can be the best score possible. Preslee finished second at District but had three consecutive weekends traveling to and staying in Corpus due to UIL Academics, regional tennis, and regional golf. Combine all of the traveling with her being under the weather Saturday through Monday and that definitely contributed to her score not being what she wanted. Preslee was not able to play the practice round due to illness; however, she followed up her day one 117 with a day two 104, which is a better representation of what her score should be.
“I found the regional course very challenging but by the second day I better understood the course and was able to play more confident,” stated Preslee. “Next season, my goal is to drop 10 or more strokes to shoot in the 90’s or 80’s so I can better help the team score. As a team goal, we will try to place higher in more tournaments and to win the district championship again.”
Lillie, Lillie. What can I say about Lillie? Lillie Weyel has become our little diamond in the rough. She shot a 111 on both days of the tournament to overachieve by a large margin of what score was expected. As a first year player and a player playing at Regional for the very first time, Lillie was not fazed at all by the pressure of trying to shoot a good score. She started playing this season kind of as an afterthought and now has become a solid number four player behind the other three. The great thing about Lillie is she will not be satisfied being the number 4 player. She will play a lot this summer with her teammates and will see her score drop drastically from one year to the next. Lillie is enjoyable to be around and she has great camaraderie among all members of the team. It will definitely be a lot of fun the next three seasons.
“Even though we played pretty rough the first day, we came back and did awesome the second day,” Lillie stated. “That showed our determination! I am going to work to shoot in the 90’s next year and, hopefully, our team will advance to State.”
Paige Williamson is another first year player who exceeded expectations. Although she shot a 136 on both days of Regional, that score is not too far off where Kayla, Shelby, and Preslee shot their first time down in Corpus. She is closer to becoming a good player than I think she even realizes. Paige has the desire to improve and will do whatever it takes to contribute to our team scores next season. Even though she has a great, bubbly personality, she becomes a determined individual once she gets onto the golf course. It will be nice to see her develop as a player over the next two seasons. Great things lie ahead for Paige.
“I am looking forward to next year,” Paige said. “Over the summer, I am going to work towards lowering my stroke count even more. I loved being a part of the Arabian team this year, and hoping we can grow even stronger together.”
Team rankings: 1st-Fredericksburg (337/338-675); 2nd-Zapata (373/353-726); 3rd-Bellville (363/386-749); 4th-Wimberley (380/376-756); 5th-La Vernia (377/385-762); 6th-Columbus (387/390-777); 7th-Sweeny (403/397-800); 8th-Pleasanton (404/400-804); 9th-Boerne (437/409-846); 10th-Devine (446/414-860); 11th-Rockport Fulton (440/427-867); 12th- Cuero (441/436-877); 13th-Columbia (445/439-884); 14th-Hidalgo (450/435-885); 15th-Carrizo Springs (466/462-928); 16th-Aransas Pass (508/508-1016).
Individual top 10: 1st-Faith Kilgore-Wimberley (73/72-145); 2nd-Allison James-Fredericksburg (84/81-165); 3rd-Kiley Allen-Gonzales (82/83-165); 4th-Daniella Hernandez-Zapata (84/83-167); 5th-Gracie Grona-Fredericksburg (82/80-162); 6th-A’Hisha Rodriguez-Fredericksburg (85/81-166); 7th-Idalinda Guerra-Zapata (89/83-172); 8th-Maddie Goad-Sealy (92/81-173); 9th-Jackie Heneth-La Vernia (84/89-173); 10th-Delaney Whitworth-Fredericksburg (86/88-174).
Arabian scores: Busby (111/91-202), Spivey (107/108-215), Quisenberry (117/104-221), Weyel (111/111-222), Williamson (136/136-272).
Much work and preparation goes into an entire golf season, and that is just for the parents. Toting kids to practices, both in town and out of town, getting them to the course early in the morning to catch the bus for out of town tournaments, and taking days off of work to watch their daughter participate are just a few of the things that parents do to help their children become better players and great teammates.
Jerry Busby, Jennifer Wofford, and Michelle Spivey volunteer in every way possible with whatever the need may be and for that, I am greatly appreciative. I lost count of all the positive contributions they make on behalf of the entire Arabian golf program.
Christy Williamson made each of the girls a score counter before the regional meet and helped at regional whenever needed. Chad Quisenberry doubles as not only a parent but as the DISD Athletic Director. He provides much support in both capacities. Lillie’s mom and grandmother tried to be more involved but Lillie kept sending them back home for some reason…
Shannon Rangel and her staff at Devine Golf Course were a tremendous asset helping facilitate tournaments and practices. If you have not been out to the golf course lately, it has greatly improved since her taking over. The course needs the town’s continued support to keep that improvement moving forward.
The Devine Athletic Booster Club was instrumental in providing lodging for tournaments that we needed to stay overnight as well as purchasing new team golf bags for the 2019 season.
Kayla, Shelby, Preslee, Lillie, Paige, and Allyson Long had a memorable 2018 season and each will return next season to make that push for a state tournament berth. Each of them thank everyone for their support this season and I send a final “Thank You!” to the ladies for a great and memorable season!!!
By Jerel Beaty
Staff Writer