Sanders Hinds, Athlete of the Week
Congratulations to sophomore Sanders Hinds, who was recently named Ledger-Enquirer Female Athlete of the week! Not only that, but she earned a spot in Brookstone School history! Congratulations, Sanders!
The article from the Ledger is copied below:
Brookstone sophomore Sanders Hinds turned to coach Karen Hearn during Hinds’ practice round the night before the Maple Ridge Junior Girls Classic.
“She said to me, ‘I always play so well just out here playing. I’m really going to try and have that attitude tomorrow,’” Hearn said. “I’m assuming that’s what she ended up with, thinking, ‘I’m just going to play and enjoy the game and not worry about so much with what’s happening with my score.’”
Hinds’ mindset did the trick during her round at Maple Ridge on March 17. She got off to a hot start with an eagle and consecutive birdies on the front nine, which set herself up for a strong finish to the day. She walked away with a round of 72, good enough to become Brookstone’s first-ever low medalist in the tournament.
“It’s pretty awesome. I didn’t really expect it going out there,” Hinds said. “I was just going to go out there and play my best. When I came in, I didn’t really know what to expect.”
Hinds has played golf since middle school and was Brookstone’s top golfer as a freshman, but she began to take her game to the next level after her first season in high school. Through constant practicing as well as summer tournaments, Hinds began to see her scores drop from the upper-80s on down.
Despite other commitments like being on the Brookstone swim team, Hinds’ unrelenting dedication to golf left Hearn believing even more tangible progress was on its way.
“We knew she was going to drop under 80 this year,” Hearn said.
She just didn’t expect it to come in the second tournament of the season.
Hinds credited the good start to the round for why the whole day turned out like it did, as the early shots built confidence in her game. It also allowed her to focus solely on the course, instead of putting her efforts into beating the other players.
The beauty of Hinds’ strategy was by playing the course, she topped some of the best golfers in the state. Woodward Academy, North Gwinnett and Columbus may have beaten fourth-place Brookstone as a team, but none of those formidable squads had an individual shoot lower than Hinds.
Hearn said it wasn’t until they looked at a pamphlet of past winners did they realize Hinds was the first Brookstone low medalist in the tournament’s 21-year history. Hinds joined a list of low medalists such as inaugural winner Angela Jerman Ormsby, who has given Hinds lessons that have influenced her game.
Hinds said she was still in shock over being the first Brookstone player to accomplish this feat. More than anything, she hopes it serves as something future Lady Cougar golfers can aim for.
“I feel like that’s going to help the people who are younger than me, to know they can also do it,” Hinds said. “You just have to put in the work and believe in yourself.”
Hinds said the low-medalist honor can sustain her confidence throughout the rest of the spring. She’s hopeful that she and her teammates can cut strokes off their game in the weeks and months to come, which could set Brookstone up for a special season.
As for Hearn, she sees Hinds’ play at Maple Ridge as the potential tipping point for an even brighter future.
“She’s already realized what she is capable of,” Hearn said. “She doesn’t really have to prove that to herself or to anybody anymore. There’s going to be ups and downs, but I think she’ll be able to take those in stride.”
*Photo credits go to Brookstone parent, Margaret Ward.