A new era of MC Athletics began with an inaugural tournament for MC’s new women’s golf program on Oct. 26-27, 2020. Freshman Sarah Hodson competed at the Carey Collegiate Classic hosted by William Carey and tied for 11th place in the two-round tournament. Hodson fired a 78 (six over par) in round one on the 26th and then an 81 (nine over) in round two on the 27th. On her performance, Hodson said, “I think I competed the best that I could. I think I could’ve come out a little better, but the experience was just amazing.”
MC President Dr. Blake Thompson and Athletic Director Mike Jones made the announcement in May that a women’s golf program would be on its way for MC athletics, coached by Brent Belton, and Hodson made the program debut with her two-round score of 159.
Hodson wass excited about the opportunity to help build a program, be on the inaugural squad, and play in the inaugural tournament. She added, “It’s exciting because I’m one of the first people to start a program that is going to be here for years to come. And whenever this program becomes really good, those players will be able to look back and I’ll be one of the first people on this team and that’s just something I’ll be able to keep with me for a long time.”
Building a program from scratch is always difficult with there almost always being a lack of collegiate experience and, as is the case with MC, usually a small roster. The Lady Choctaws currently have two women on the roster with Hodson being joined by fellow freshman Jenna Belton. The tournament roster for most teams is usually five golfers with most teams having several more than that on the team roster.
The Carey Collegiate is the team’s only tournament scheduled for this fall semester. They currently have four tournaments scheduled for the spring semester (before the GSC championships scheduled for mid-April) with the Badger Invitational hosted by Spring Hill scheduled for Feb. 8-9.
Even with a roster size of just two, this first year will be crucial for the program to begin building the culture and expectations that could be here for years to come. On the upcoming packed spring semester, Hodson said, “I’m just looking to work on some more things that I personally need to work on. As a team, me and my teammate Jenna, I think that just to get our feet wet into this program and just to begin to build a program so that next year when we have some more girls come in, we’ll have a bit of experience and we’ll help them out through that.’
“So really, just the idea of next semester is just growing a team, and getting that team atmosphere and getting ready for next year and years to come.”