The 2019 NJCAA Champion Lady Raiders look to continue their recent success after placing third at the Lady Falcon Invitational in Daytona Beach.
After a rally on the Saturday round, Seminole State was able to be second best on that day, placing them third overall. Sophomores Sophia Warren and Alex Giles lead the way for the Raiders to help them place top three.
The team practices daily on the Timacuan Golf Course in Lake Mary. The players try to balance their time for doing their school work and progressing their golf game. Some practices, they make a strong effort to make a birdie (stroke below par) on each hole they play.
Some of the team’s student-athletes attend Seminole State from overseas nations, such as the United Kingdom and Asia. Two of the eight golfers are Florida locals. The rest of the squad creates a diverse group.
Sophomore Alex Giles from Bristol, England, said she enjoys the Florida fairways in comparison to the British courses.
“[The Florida courses] are a lot different,” Giles said. “They tend to be wider, longer, even the grass is different. But it’s good. I like it.”
Giles came to Seminole State to get her golf career started. She said she likes the close community atmosphere at Seminole State.
“Everyone seems to be so friendly,” she said, “even if you don’t know someone, they’ll still say ‘hi.’ It’s just a nice place to be.” Giles plans on transferring to a four-year university once she’s obtained her degree from SSC.
Freshman Mary Ma is also eager to fill her role with the defending champs.
Born and raised in China, Ma made the move to Lake Mary to start off her college golf career. Before Seminole State, she attended Lake Mary Prep High School, a nearby private institution where she also practiced her game.
Much like the rest of the squad, she said she loves playing with her teammates and learning from her coaches. Ma said she really appreciates the number of players that hail from other countries.
“I like playing with people from everywhere,” she said. “We have [players] from like five countries now. That’s my most favorite thing.”
Ma is majoring in education.
“I’d really like to be a teacher and educate people,” Ma explained. “I would love to go into early childhood [education].”
After speaking to the team, you can tell what’s on the players’ minds: “Another National Championship” was the unanimous answer to a question about players’ expectations for the 2019-2020 season.
There are freshmen on the team who missed out on the national victory last year. But their intention remains the same: Win.