Texas Wesleyan women’s golf team is one of the best in the nation, but that’s not enough.
The Lady Rams, which have been ranked in the top 10 in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics most of the season, are hungry for their first national championship, sophomore finance major Alex Schies wrote in an email.
“We’ve been practicing every day, with having qualifiers every Tuesday and Thursday for the top 5 spots, to help prepare us for the pressure,” Schies wrote. “Outside of that, we practice on our own on the weekends.”
The team got off to a rocky start this season, falling to No. 13 in final poll of the fall, but since then there has been steady improvement, Schies wrote.
“We did well at our most recent tournament and beat five of the seven top 15 teams, so that gave us a major boost to No. 10,” Schies wrote. “We have one more tournament, hosted by Oklahoma City, then we have conference at the end of the month and hopefully a bid to nationals at the end of May.”
The team was ranked No. 10 on April 7 in the 2016-2017 NAIA Women’s Golf Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, according to naia.org. The NAIA national championships are May 23-26 in Florida.
The team has been resilient and worked through difficulties all year during practice and tournaments, Schies wrote.
“We have worked hard this year and never given up,” Schies wrote, “no matter what happens to us in a tournament. Every time we’ve gotten knocked down, we’ve come back at the next tournament and proven ourselves.”
The team is motivated by the knowledge that the players have the talent and skills it takes to win at nationals, Schies wrote.
“We know how close we are and what we are capable of doing,” Schies wrote. “We want to make sure we solidify a spot for nationals, so then once we get there we can then prove ourselves. Last year we got one of the last spots, but finished fourth, and if we wouldn’t have been delayed we were in position to win it. So that definitely motivates us, knowing we can do it.”
The team has a saying to keep them motivated and encouraged on the green, Schies wrote.
“We usually say ‘Vamos cabrones,’ meaning ‘Let’s go Rams’ in Spain,” Schies wrote. “Elena [Romero] is from Spain, and she taught us that. Every team has something unique at tournaments and we wanted something unique, so Elena came up with this.”
Schies is excited to see where the rest of the season takes them because of the toughness and resilience this team has.
“I’m proud of us, like I said earlier, no matter how hard of a day any of us have had on the golf course we don’t give up and we continue to get better,” Schies wrote. “We’ve shown a lot of progress this year and hopefully we continue to get even better.”
The team has only one goal, Schies wrote.
“Win a national championship, for sure.”
The team prepares in a very simple way, wrote freshman psychology major Trudy Allen: Practice, play, practice, repeat. Every day.
The team encourages each other to be better golfers every day, Allen wrote.
“Overall we have been doing pretty good,” Allen wrote, “and it helps that we are all motivated and pushing each other to play better than the previous round.”
Allen wrote that she is motivated by the possibility of winning a national championship.
“I golf more now than I ever have before because I know I have potential to be really good and help my team be even better,” Allen wrote. “Potential motivates me. I feel we are so close to being really really great. When we come together as one, that’s when we will be at our best. “
The team is doing so well because everyone has the same mind set at this point, Allen wrote.
“I think we are getting to where we should be,” Allen. “Everyone is working hard because we all want to be the best that we can be. We can’t be the best without hard work and dedication and all of us know that.”
Allen wrote that she tries to help the team the only way she really can, by practicing her own skills.
“My goal during this season is to just practice as much and as hard as I can for the upcoming tournaments we have,” Allen wrote. “You can’t control how anyone else plays but you have the power to be the best you can with just practice. Lots of practice.”