Saying goodbye to siblings going off to college can be tough.
Of course, it doesn’t always have to be that way. Take Summer and MaiLeAna Bruce of Hurst L.D. Bell.
The sisters, both seniors, have signed letters of intent to play golf for Williams Baptist College in Hot Springs, Arkansas, next season.
“It’s pretty exciting that I get the chance to go to college with my sister and still be able to play golf with her, since we always have been pretty close, so us going to together, we”ll be able to support each other,” Summer said.
The sisters, adopted as infants, are five and a half months apart in age. They started playing golf in junior high with the plan to play together in high school.
Not only are they each other’s biggest cheerleader, they are also one another’s toughest critic. Of course, being siblings, there is some competition, but it has all helped lead them to where they are today and strengthened the closeness they share, they agreed.
“We have a strong relationship, so even when were critiquing each other, we don’t get mad at each other and I feel like we’re best friends,” MaiLeAna said.
“I think we push each other by giving each other positive and critical feedback in each other’s golf game, which I think helps both of us improve,” Summer said.
“We were basically raised as twins. I think over the years we matured and have developed an almost best-friend relationship.”
Bell golf coach Buddy Hamm said the sisters are the first Lady Raiders to receive college golf scholarships since the late 1980s.
I am happy they are going together so they have each other and won’t be alone whenever they get homesick.
- Caliana Bruce, on her elder sisters MaiLeAna and Summer attending the same college
“MaiLeAna and Summer have been hard workers. They have super parents who support them at the highest level,” he said. “Their current swing coach, Dan Walden (head professional at Texas Star Golf Course), has done a great job in the short time he has worked with them. Since they started working with Dan, their game has improved and they are much more comfortable during tournament play. Their future college coach feels their best years of golf are ahead of them.
“I feel MaiLeAna and Summer have set the groundwork for the future of girls golf at L.D. Bell. The younger girls on the team have shown signs they are inspired to follow their path. Everyone on the team will miss MaiLeAna and Summer when they move on, but their departure will leave the program in better shape than before they arrived. They have helped make my job more fun.”
One of those younger girls is their younger sister Caliana, a sophomore.
Summer said they interviewed at several schools and with their golf coaches and were offered other scholarships. However, Williams Baptist felt like the right choice for a variety of reasons.
“I felt the coach had a great vision for the golf team and would help each of us reach our goals,” she said. “Also, it being a Christian college, I felt it would benefit me spiritually.”
Both plan to major in education. Summer wants to be a special education teacher and MaiLeAna wants to teach math or science.
While golf is their only sport, both are active in another extracurricular activity. They belong to the organization Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD).
While they are moving on together, Caliana will carry on the family name in the Bell golf program. She said she is happy her sisters will still be together in college. She said it’s too early to say whether she may join them in a couple of years, but that golf has definitely brought them closer.
“I have learned a lot from them. Specifically, when I started to play golf, they would help me try to improve my game, and I felt the game has drawn us closer in a sibling relationship,” Caliana said. “It’s really going to be different, because we go to golf together every day, and I also am the youngest, so I know I’ll miss them at home and on the golf course.
“I am happy they are going together so they have each other and won’t be alone whenever they get homesick.”
Sullivan qualifies for regionals
Junior Brooke Sullivan qualified for the regional golf competition as one of two medalists from the recent District 5-6A Tournament at Robson Ranch in Denton.
Sullivan had rounds of 73 and 83 for a 156 total to earn her second consecutive trip to regionals as one of the top two golfers not on the qualifying teams of Lewisville Hebron and Southlake Carroll.
The Region I tournament is April 24-25 at Rolling Hills Country Club in Arlington. From there, the top three teams and top three individuals not on those teams will advance to the state tournament in Austin on May 15-16.