Fox and Cove girls, Sizemore advance to Region II-6A Golf tourney
By TJ MAXWELL
The term ‘batting 1,000’ is a well-known in softball and baseball circles, but that can also used for Elle Fox as she is a perfect 3 for 3 as district champion after combining for a two-day total of 153 to take first place by four strokes over Belton’s Kennedy Tidwell on a blustery day two of the District 12-6A Golf Tournament held Tuesday and Wednesday at the Stonetree golf Course in Killeen.
The Mississippi State-bound senior would likely be 4 for 4 is not for the Covid-19 pandemic wiping away last year.
“It’s crazy and wild, Fox said after her third district title in as many tries. “I’m so thankful for everything. Today was an emotional rollercoaster but, it’s fine, I still got the job done.”
After leading the field by at least two strokes with a par 72 on day one, Fox struggled a bit on a windy day two with an 81. She’s blames that more on her mental state than the wind.
“It was mostly my mental state and I need to work harder on my chipping,” she said.
“I didn’t play as good as I wanted to, but it’s hard to with these wind conditions.”
Fox was hoping to battle for the 12-6A crown last year against best friend and longtime teammate senior Maddie Miller, but the pandemic made that impossible. Miller was in Fox’s thoughts as she prepared for her final trip to district.
“Yes, she texted me yesterday and told me good luck and happy district day,” Fox said about playing for Miller. “I was thinking, ‘Oh my gosh I miss her.’”
Joining Fox at the Region II-6A tournament scheduled for April 20 and 21 at Bear Ridge Golf Course in Waco are teammates Ella Crawley 190 (97-93), Kristina Varela 223 (110-113), Sophia Lewis 270 (129-141) and Ayden McCracken 271 (138-133). The girls combined for an 828 to take second place as a team and qualify for regionals.
“I’m super proud of Elle and the whole team of girls who get to advance,” said Copperas Cove head golf coach Cooper Carlton. “We’ve got a lot of newcomers this year and Elle has been a really good mentor for them.
“We didn’t get to do it last year because to Covid, or I’m fairly certain we’d have a four-year district champion for 12-6A girls.”
Also joining the girls’ quintet and representing the boys’ team at regionals is sophomore Colton Sizemore who shot a combined 163 (82-81) to finish third and book a trip to regionals.
“It feels pretty good,” Sizemore said of qualifying for regionals. “I definitely could have shot better, but I’m just glad I made it.”
The sophomore shaved a stroke off his day one total despite the blustery conditions.
“I shot better today with the wind, so I guess I do better under pressure,” he said.
Coach Carlton is not surprised to see the sophomore Sizemore atop the leaderboard and sees him climbing higher as his career continues.
“Colton Sizemore has a natural golf swing,” he said. “He’s working on some little things in his game. Once he gets more confidence with his putter, he’s going to be really tough to beat.
“As far as sophomores go in our district, Colton is at the top of his class, so I wouldn’t be surprised next year or the year after if he moved up from third to first.”
As far as regionals go, Carlton is expecting big things from Fox and Sizemore.
“They work hard and the results show,” he said. They have natural talent. I’ve had these guys since seventh grade and they have come so far not just because they come to practice, but they’ve also been in the weight room, and hitting balls and on the practice green on the weekends.”
Elle has high expectations,” added Carlton. “She’s a great player, but one thing she hasn’t checked off her list is getting out of regionals. She’s been twice. We don’t want to talk about state before we get through regionals, but our next goal for Elle is definitely to advance to that state tournament.
“Colton is happy to be there, but I think he is going to make some noise and surprise some people.”
Sizemore agrees with his coach.
“I’m hoping to win or get top 10,” he said.
Fox hopes to end her high school career with her first-ever trip to the state tournament but is really just grateful for the opportunity and the journey that has gotten her here.
“I’m just so thankful for all the supporters,” she said. “It has been a crazy journey since seventh grade. I’m just so thankful for Copperas Cove.”
Sizemore and the rest of the players are going to miss the mentorship and examples set by Fox.
“I’ve played with her since last year,” said Sizemore. “She has been a great role model and always pushing me to do better. I’m really going to miss her.”