Interview By: Twumasi Duah-Mensah
The Herald spoke with girls’ golf captain Amanda Olson about the team’s historic season.
Is this Heritage girls’ golf’s best season?
“We have won conference before, but [that] was…years ago. This year, we have five players going to regionals, which, I believe, has made us the strongest team at Heritage thus far.”
What have been some of the biggest factors for such a historic season?
“The amount of hard work that we’ve put into this season is unreal. We all were out there all summer long, putting ourselves in tournaments all summer to prepare for this fall. We have given it our all. I believe that the prep [we] did leading into this school year was really what helped advance us as a team. We didn’t just show [up for] the first conference match of the year and expect to do good; we put in the work in the offseason when it mattered.”
Who do you think has improved the most as a result of all this hard work?
“Can I say myself? I’ve never been to regionals before. Since this was my senior year, I made it my goal to get there. The other girls have been playing forever, but I haven’t; I started when I came to high school, so when I started, I was very far behind everyone else. This summer, though, I put myself in the first golf tournaments I’ve ever played, and I did them all summer long to condition myself as a player…[F]reshman year [me] to [me] now is a [much different] person.”
“Other than myself, I would say Mary-Sears Brown. Last year, she went to states, and this year, she was only a tenth of a point away from taking the overall conference winner as an individual player. She has improved drastically and has a bright future ahead of her.”
I don’t think many understand the role of the coach in your guys’ improvement. Tell me more about that.
“Coach is someone who believes in us. It’s hard going through high school because a lot of people are negative towards your accomplishments, but Coach is the opposite. He always has our backs, he’s always pushing us to be the best, [and] he’s always motivating us to believe in ourselves. He always says, ‘it’s about the effort, not end result.’ Having a mentor like that to help you through this journey is great.”
What does the team do to build confidence in each other?
“We love playing team games on the putting green. That way, we can feel what competition looks like, but we can also have people on the team cheering us on. Team competitions help us motivate each other. We also help build confidence in each other by saying what they can improve on a shot they just took, so we know someone has our back and is trying to help us get better. At the end of every practice day…we stand in a circle and you have to pick someone that did something good that day and tell them out loud. It’s a great [confidence] booster! At the end, we put our hands in and our chant we do is ‘family on 3…1, 2, 3, FAMILY!’”