The biggest decision for the Conway girls golf team Tuesday concerned dunking or sprinkling.
With the state 7A golf title wrapped up early, most of the CHS team, clad in blue shirts and blue checkboard shorts and smiling, laughing and texting, sat on the ground in front of the scoreboard, waiting for their star, Summar Roachell, to finish the final team round of her Conway career and earn her fourth straight state medalist title.
As they cheered, there were whispers about the entire team and coach Janet Taylor jumping into one of the ponds along the golf course, similar to what the boys team had done when they won a state championship here a few years ago.
But typical of the leader she is, Roachell settled things, “I’ve not jumping in that nasty pond,” she said emphatically. “There are all kinds of fertilizer in there.”
In other words, she was staying true blue. She didn’t want to come up green.
What they settled on doing was giving Taylor a surprise shower with their water bottles.
That dousing was icing on the cake to Taylor and added to her variety pack of state trophies. She has led boys teams to three state titles, the girls one plus she has coached the Lady Cats to state championships in volleyball and basketball.
“She’s wanted a girls golf title for awhile and she’s been my coach since my freshman year and I wanted to win this for her and the team as much as I did the individual one for myself,” Roachell said. “Coach Taylor is always motivating, pushing us to get better. But what we like is that if we shoot bad, she’ll come up to us and say, ‘that’s OK.’ In golf, it helps for your coach to be positive.”
The admiration society is mutual.
“Summar is a phenomenal golfer; she a better kid,” Taylor said. “She has worked so much with those younger girls. And she’s fun to be around. She a real competitor but she’s also a great leader. She relates well to people and is interested in people whether they are golfers or not.”
As Roachell finished her round, her teammates gather along a hillside overlooking the 18th hole and watched the final groups come in. As Roachell approached, there was a stream of carts. Other fans, many wearing Wampus Cat blue, joined the hillside watch.
Roachell missed a chip from just off the green.
“I’m just glad I didn’t have to make it to win the tournament,” she said.
Things were settled well before then.
Except of course, for the most appropriate use of water.
(Sports columnist David McCollum can be reached at 505-1235 or firstname.lastname@example.org)