Payne Johnson is our first senior athlete who we will spotlight this year. He has played golf his whole life. "Ever since I could walk I’ve had a golf club in my hands. I used to go out to my great grandparents and hit with my plastic clubs into their field all day." His favorite thing about the sport is because it’s what he does to relieve stress. He said, "Anytime I’m having a bad day or just need to take a break from reality, I go golfing."
One of Johnson’s goals for the season was for the team to win the OVACs. Barnesville ended up winning the title, with him having the overall top score of sixty-nine shots and being the Medalist. He hopes they can accomplish more and progress even further. Johnson also wishes to be the first golfer/team to make it to the state tournament. After winning two OVAC team titles and many other accomplishments, he says their team is willing to put in whatever work is necessary to make it.
We asked Johnson if he had any "pre-game" rituals. He said, "I used to be very superstitious with everything I did before a match, but now I do whatever I want until I feel comfortable. Whether that be hit on the range, putt on the practice green, or just sit in a chair to scroll through Twitter. Whatever gets my mind to where it needs to be."
His advice to future golfers would be to work hard. "If you want to be good at golf, just like any other thing, you need to put the time and effort into it. Dedicate as much time as you can a week to work on your game, especially your chipping and putting."
Madison Detling has played volleyball since 7th grade. She said, "Every year is just as exciting, if not more, as the year before it. It always has me coming back." Her favorite thing about the sport is the excitement and intensity of every game. This year Barnesville has played some very competitive and challenging schools, but no matter the school, they always put in their best effort and determination in hopes to win.
Detling believes the rest of the season will depend on how well their team takes on the remaining games and how well they work with each other. One example of their team-bonding is that they have a pregame ritual of listening to music and dancing to get the jitters out, as well as discussing their opponents. She also commented, "it often gets our mind off of being nervous or whatever we are feeling that particular day."
"Advice I would give other volleyball players would be to work hard and never stop trying, listen to others’ advice and help out others if needed." Her goal before she graduates "is for my team to believe in ourselves and to constantly work as the team we can be!"