A drought has turned into a flood of college signings for the girls of the Hurst L.D. Bell golf team.
Senior-to-be Brooke Sullivan has signed a letter of intent to play for Texas Wesleyan in the fall of 2018.
Sullivan celebrated the decision by winning a two-day Northern Texas Junior PGA tournament at The Golf Club at Champions Circle in Fort Worth. She had rounds of 75 and 73.
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Sullivan has been playing a full summer schedule designed to keep her sharp and focused. She also won a tournament at the Dallas Athletic Club, shooting 76 and 75.
“I chose Texas Wesleyan because I wanted a smaller school and to still get a good education,” Sullivan said. “Since I began playing golf at age 12, my best friend’s grandfather, Tompie Hall, a Texas Wesleyan alumni and board member, has been encouraging me to consider Texas Wesleyan for my golf and education.
“I really like the way the coach, Kevin Millikan, runs the golf program in the fact that he wants us to be competitive but also understands the importance of education. Knowing most of the girls on the team from outside competition also helps put me at ease with the transition from high school to college.”
Sullivan said the early signing will also provide one less distraction from playing — and the classroom, of course.
“Signing early definitely gives me peace of mind. It will help me focus on improving my game and getting to that next level, while also keeping my grades up,” she said.
Hamm said he was thrilled to be a part of the ceremony, along with being excited with knowing his star player is going to continue playing at a higher level.
“It was a special opportunity for me to be invited to be a part of this event shared by her family and close friend,” he said. “Brooke had visited other colleges during the year, but she felt the Texas Wesleyan golf program was the best fit her. Coach Millikan runs a great program, and Brooke wanted to sign so she could focus on what she needs to do and enjoy her final year at L.D. Bell.
“She is very excited about her future.”
Sullivan also recently competed in the prestigious Junior PGA Championship at the Country Club of St. Alban’s in Missouri.
“She continues to stay busy competing and working on her game,” Hamm said. “Brooke’s work ethic and leadership makes my job much easier building the golf program at L.D. Bell.”
Other golfers keeping busy
Sullivan is one of several Bell players who have been honing their skills this summer.
“Dennis Embovornchai is taking a break from band to work on golf his senior year,” Hamm reported.
“Dennis informed about me his plans during the last week of school. I wanted to make sure Dennis wanted to do this, because I know how important band has been in his life, and the fact his directors have been so wonderful about working with him so he could play the past two years,” Hamm said.
Embovornchai will still take part in band, but on a part-time basis.
Sullivan was also one of several Bell players to compete in the Fort Worth Junior City Championship, tying for 11th overall. Keirsten Daniel tied for first in the first flight, but lost a scorecard playoff. Caliana Bruce, the younger sister of Summer and MaiLeAna, took placed fifth in the fourth flight, and Maggie Freeman shot an 86 before dropping a qualifying match.
“The score of 86 Maggie shot at Hawks Creek was a great round for her. She has improved a lot since last spring,” Hamm said. “Maggie decided to give up basketball this year to concentrate more on her golf and the challenging IB (International Baccalaureate) classes.
“Caliana Bruce learned a lot about her ability to compete. Despite a rough round on Day 1, she managed to win her match on Day 2 to qualify for the third day.
“What was really encouraging for me as a coach, after three grueling days of playing in the city tournament, Caliana and Maggie played in a junior tournament on Thursday at Pecan Valley. Caliana placed first and Maggie placed second. I am excited to see what Caliana and Maggie will do this next year.”
Freeman, a sophomore to be, placed second in the Girls 13-15 Division of the Fort Worth City Tournament at Pecan Valley. Her 11-year-old sister placed third in her division.
“During the past couple of years, our program has been progressing at a steady rate. We talked as a team and agreed we have to make a commitment to improve over the summer,” Hamm said. “Thanks to a parent from the golf team, I was able to share information about the junior program in Fort Worth and other NTJPGA tournaments available to them.
“Many of the current team members committed to playing in at least two tournaments this summer. Either way, I do hope they continue to compete and make the time to continue working on their game.
“I am looking forward to what our team will do next year. I believe we will be more experienced and hopefully more competitive.”
In 2016, Anthony Lindsey signed a letter of intent to play for North Carolina Sports University.