Keller Citizen

Nelson completes first 6A golf season with state appearance

The season came to an end for the Byron Nelson golf team with the appearance of two golfers in the state tournament, and coach Barry Hawkins said he is pleased with how his teams’ first season in the 6A division unfolded.

Hayden Springer and Alexandra Batista both qualified for the tournament, and Hawkins said that both players had high points at the competition.

“First and foremost, this was one of the best state tournaments we've been to in terms of how it was ran and the venue,” Hawkins said. “Alexandra played a very good round on day one with a score of 77, which I think put her in the top 20. She was in a big huge bunch. She got off to a rough start on day two, but she played as well as could be expected with the wind the way it was.

“Hayden shot even par 72 the first day, and really hit it better than that ... he hit it really well, but just couldn't make any puts. We come back on day two and shot a 76, but unlike on day one, he made a lot of putts.”

Springer finished tied for seventh overall at the tournament and earned all-state honors.

Reflecting on he season as a whole, Hawkins said he is very happy with how things unfolded.

“I'm pretty satisfied,” Hawkins said. “Jumping up to the largest classification, our goal was always to get a team represented in the state tournament. We've been there for five years now, and having some representation at state this year was satisfying for us being our first year in 6A.”

Hawkins said he has some definite objectives for his players this off-season, as well.

“I think with the boys, we're losing two top-notch players, and bringing back three who have a little district and regional experience back, they're going to need to play some really good golf throughout the summer,” Hawkins said. “They will need to maintain their competitive level and just get better in their overall game. There will not be really one aspect they need to focus on. They just need to get more experience playing in big tournaments this summer.”

Hawkins said that he does believe things are shaping up well for next season.

“On the boys side, we've got three guys returning that played on our top team, and then I have four guys that played on our number two team that finished third at district,” Hawkins said. “So I've got a lot of talent in a pool of probably seven or eight guys. On the the girls side, I have three returners, and then we have to build some hope for the rest of the team.”

Hawkins said he hopes his athletes are proud of what they accomplished this season and that they take away a couple of things from the experience.

“I hope that the three boys and two girls who did not have any experience at this level took this experience that they gained and are able to build on it for next year,” Hawkins said. “And I hope they understand that, while we didn't get a team to Austin, that is the ultimate objective, to get a team to Austin and to compete.”