LaFOLLETTE—Campbell County senior Lindsay Taylor signed last Tuesday evening to King University in Bristol.
She was offered a scholarship after completing her second stint of play in the state golf tournament in Manchester this past spring.
However, Taylor said the decision wasn’t so simple.
“Well, I always wanted to play Division II, but I’d committed to a school before that, thinking I wasn’t really good enough,” she said. “Now that I’ve signed to it, I feel like I’ve completed my high school goal.”
Taylor finished with a score of 169 in the two-day tournament, which was good enough for 28th place in the state.
Aubree Jones, a freshman from Brighton High School, took first place with a 148, shooting an even par 72 on the first day. Samantha Griffith of Ooltewah High School shot a 149 with a par on the second day. In all, three freshmen comprised the top five.
She said signing with King University is only going to help her excel.
“It got me the scholarship that I wanted,” Taylor said. “It showed that through practice, I’ve actually gotten good enough to play Division II.
“I wanted to sign somewhere that I could build on my golf game and try to do something in the future with it.”
Taylor will join a team that finished in sixth place in its last match of the fall season, shooting a 699 in the Lady Flames Shootout hosted by Lee University in Virginia.
According to her coach, Gabe Keen, signing on Tuesday was a fulfillment of her dream.
“It’s great. It’s what she wanted, and it’s what she’s worked so hard for,” Keen said. “She’s had a great season, and she deserves it.”
Keen is in his first season at Campbell County, and Taylor is now the fourth senior to sign to a college for golf this season.
For the new coach, he said it’s a blessing to fall into the situation he has.
“It’s a great senior class,” he said. “I’ve been blessed to step into this. It’s going to be hard to replace a class like this. They’ve been great.”
Taylor said her coach wasn’t too bad, either.
In last year’s state tournament, Taylor’s nerves to the best of her in the first round. However, this season, she said Keen had helped her to relax on the golf course.
“He showed me that golf doesn’t have to be so serious,” she said. “He said if you take it more, not as a joke, but as a positive attitude, you can play better.”
Keen said sometimes, his senior is just a little too rough on herself.
“You can be too hard on yourself,” Keen continued. “She’s got the game, and if you don’t let your head get in the way, you trust your swing and trust your game, good things will happen.”
Taylor signed at the LaFollette Country Club, as she was surrounded by Rector Miller, Scott Bowman, Lauren Taylor, Richard Comer, Jeremy Cox, Keen, and Ed and Angel Taylor.
She said having those people be with her was one of the best parts of the day.
“They’re the people that stuck with me through my four years and before that, even in middle school,” Taylor said. “It was just nice to say that I’ve done it. I’ve reached my goal, and they are here with me. It’s awesome.”
For Keen, he hopes those state tournament appearances will only help her excel at the college level.
“Anytime you get in a high-pressure situation like that, especially when you can be in that situation and succeed in it, you grow,” he said. “That’s huge for her, and it prepares her for college.”
For Taylor, she’s already succeeded, as she held the signed papers in her hand.
“I’m proud to say that even though you’re from Campbell County, you can make something out of yourself,” she said.