BY COACH ERICA URIAS
Lezlie Jones was on a mission at the 2015
Region I-2A Golf Championships three weeks ago. From the moment she stepped on
the driving range, she was fired up and ready to prove to herself that she
could make a run.
She finished the first round carding her best
score ever of 81 and used that momentum to mentally reload for the second day.
She took in the excitement from her first
round but stayed calm, cool, and collected as she prepared for the final round.
With a proud fan base already behind her including teammates, coaches, family,
and friends, she knew she had a shot to qualify for state.
She felt great on the morning of the final
round, poised and ready. However, after a few tough shots and some bad misses,
the round became even more challenging. She began her first hole of the final
round with a double bogey, and then followed up with four straight bogeys.
Not only was she going to have to make up
ground, she was going to have to stay positive and focused in the process. In
her mind, she was on damage control, and well off track from the previous day.
This could have easily set the stage for a mind meltdown. Instead, Lezlie
mentally dropped all of her previous bad shots and holes and regained her
She reset her mind and dug down, way down,
for the strength to make up ground. As a coach, it is amazing to watch an
athleteâ€™s inner strength shine through, but as a mother, it is one of the most
rewarding things to witness. Lezlie maintained remarkable composure throughout
the entire tournament, even in her dimmest moments. It was a sight to see!
Lezlie placed 2nd as a medalist at the 2015
Region I-2A Golf Championships posting scores of 81 and 86, qualifying her for
the UIL Golf State Championships on April 29 and 30 at Roy Kizer Golf Course in
Austin, Texas. She placed 4th overall out of 77 girls in our region, only 6
strokes back from the leader. Ahead of her were 2 girls from Memphis and 1 girl
from Miles — all seniors.
Lezlie came out swinging her first round. She fought
the nerves and pressure every inch of the way. After a rough front nine she came
back with a solid back nine, carding a score of 43 on the back, on a very long
and challenging course. She kept her composure and got over her fear of playing
in front of a huge crowd. She had no choice as a 13 cart entourage followed her
groupâ€™s every move. After experiencing her first round she felt much more
comfortable and ready. All was set for the second day!
Lezlie played an excellent second round posting a
score of 88! She went into the second round with a confident and focused
mindset. She placed 19th out of 71 girls, giving her that top 20 finish. She
proved to herself and all her competitors that she can play at this level.
As her mother and coach, I knew she could but this
is something she had to experience and feel for herself. This game reveals so
much about an athlete's character. I wish you all could witness her mental
toughness. She is definitely seasoned well beyond her years. I am so proud to
have had this experience with her. To see how much fight she carries in her
heart is so rewarding to watch. She learned a great deal from this experience
and got a taste of what's to come. She will grow from this and come back even
stronger next season.
Lezlie would like to thank her family and friends for all of their support and
inspiration. Thank you to Coach Turnbow for being by her side and for the
positive words of encouragement. Thank you to Coach Gibson for his continued
support and reassurance. Thank you to her teammates who helped keep her sharp
and ready. A special Thank You goes out to her Papa Chuck and Tio Tito for
their continued guidance and direction. Most importantly, she thanks God for
this amazing opportunity to serve Him.
Sophomore, Lezlie Jones, made history last
week as the youngest athlete from Van Horn High School to ever compete at the
UIL Golf State Championships. She earned her spot and accepted the challenges
that came with it. She fought to the finish and definitely left her mark as a
Van Horn Eagle.