Nelson girls golf team makes history for Northwest ISD

Posted Monday, May. 06, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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All Barry Hawkins hoped for was a double bogey. The Byron Nelson golf coach could live with that. Nelson freshman Alexandra Batista faced a tough approach shot on the 18th hole. On this Par 5, she was already hitting her fifth.

Then, the Northwest ISD’s first state championship in its 64-year history neared reality because the approach shot landed about six inches from the cup. The shot didn’t wrap it up, but it proved the turning point. Senior Maty Monzingo then finished it off with a steady 18th, giving the girls golf program the Class 4A state championship on April 30.

For eight decades, no one connected with this district ever experienced this kind of jubilation. That’s a long time.

Nelson held off Montgomery, 621 to 625. That turned out to be a near flip from the 2012 result when Montgomery held off Nelson, 622 to 625. Meanwhile the Nelson boys finished fourth.

“We were capable of doing it,” Hawkins said. “Success is happening and can happen at both schools. Both are experiencing it in different areas. And when that happens, it lifts the student body and the community.”

Until about six years ago, the Northwest ISD’s track record of athletic success was pretty much a dust bowl. Remember, Northwest football has only been to the playoffs seven times and never won a playoff game. Nelson won the district’s first playoff game in 2011.

Golf doesn’t receive the attention the other team sports do. But like I said last year, if your high school is named after one of the legendary names in golf, your boys and girls golf programs better be good. It’s like they have no choice. The girls program has been to the state tournament in each of its four years of existence.

Hawkins wouldn’t call the close results against Montgomery the beginning of a rivalry. Yet the tough feeling he and his team felt after the 2012 result didn’t make it easy.

“I just remember the disappointment we had from last year because you never know if you’re going to get another opportunity,” Hawkins said. “Fortunately, we got some redemption.”

This was the year this team had to do it because it was losing three seniors in Monzingo, Zoey DaneshFar and Allyson Springer. Aimee Mires offered a steady hand as a junior. Batista had to earn her spot but won her teammates over last fall.

Hawkins challenged this group. It played in a tournament last September in Arizona and then moved on to a very challenging tournament in October in San Antonio. In that tournament, Nelson was the lone Class 4A team playing. Each time, this team finished fifth.

“We got beat up a little bit,” Hawkins said. “But I think these results humbled us and got us re-focused.”

That must have been the case, because Nelson didn’t lose a tournament in the final six it played between the fall and spring. It easily won the District 5-4A championship, with its No. 2 team finishing second. Nelson did the same with the Region I tournament. Wolfforth Frenship was a distant second. The No. 2 team just missed qualifying for state.

While the final day of the state tournament had its share of drama, Nelson made history. Finally, some hardware belongs to the NISD.

“We’re very humbled to have this happen,” Hawkins said. “This is something that we’ve worked for. We definitely appreciate it.”

Using the eraser

We all have moments when we see something and know it is right and still do something else. Well, that happened in this space last week when offering a glimpse of the spring football season for Colleyville Heritage. I mentioned Kiefer Young would be the starting quarterback in 2013.

Of course, that wasn’t right. Young is a senior this year. The presumed starting quarterback this fall for the Panthers will be Griffin Pickler.

What’s silly is that I even wrote about Pickler last summer during the 7-on-7 season and how coach Mike Fuller loved his arm strength.

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