Golf seniors looking forward to spring season and life after golf
Patrick Burns, Staff Writer
The men’s and women’s golf teams both are starting their spring portions of their year-long seasons. The season for both teams is different than other SMU sports because they start at the beginning of the fall and then continue to the beginning of spring. This means the fall portion is just as important as the upcoming spring season. However, for seniors Andrew Raab, Chace Daskalos, Alex Aguilar, Lisa Zelasko, Hailey Warren and Hannah Reynolds, this will be their last tournaments as a Saint.
During the fall season, the men’s team travelled to Bellingham, Wash., Portland, Ore., and Hawaii while also hosting a tournament in Olympia, Wash. The biggest success of this fall season came in Hawaii when they placed fourth out of eight teams with Trevor Frisby and Raab leading the way for the Saints. The women travelled to Dupont, Wash., Bellingham, Wash., and to San Marcos, Calif. Their best finish came at the SMU Invitational where they placed fourth.
Raab has played on the team since his freshman year at SMU and has enjoyed his experience. Raab has taken on every role as a Saint as he has been with four different groups of guys. He is also the only remaining player from his freshman class; the other two transferred after their first years. Raab said “It’s crazy to think that this is my senior year and last go round at tournaments. The last three years have been amazing and so enjoyable with the different teams I’ve been a part of. Being a senior and our captain has been fun for me because this is my team. I’m trying to be a good mentor for our young guys and help our team be better in any way possible. This has been challenging at times but a lot of fun as well.” After graduating, Raab will be staying competitive with golf, but will not try to turn professional. He wants to use his accounting degree and venture into the auditing field.
Daskalos has been with the Saints since he transferred here after his freshman season at Carroll College. At Carroll he was named Second Team All-Conference. He has been a strong competitor for the Saints since he joined the team and as a senior he is looking to help lead the Saints to a regional berth. Making the regional tournament as a team would be a great way to finish out his senior year. Daskalos had this to say about his experience and the season that the 2018 Saints are having, “Being a senior has been awesome, and it really does feel like my whole career flew by really fast. I feel like I was a senior in high school two years ago…I’m looking to improve on that (his putting) this spring season. As a team we were pretty up and down but put ourselves in a decent spot regionally for the spring.” Daskalos will look to lead the Saints during this spring season and after he graduates he plans to find a job that is special to him while also playing golf in his free time.
Aguilar started playing for the Saints during his junior year after spending two seasons with Olympic College. Aguilar has been a strong member of the Saints team during his time here and he is very thankful for the experience. “It’s bittersweet to be in my senior season. I’ve had a lot of great experiences playing these past two years and I’m looking forward to finishing on a high note.” Even though he will be finishing his time as a Saint on the golf team, he will be continuing as a Saint in the Masters of Business Administration (MBA) program starting in the next fall semester. He will also be participating in some amateur golf events throughout the Northwest in the years to come.
Zelasko has been a Saint since her freshman year and like Raab, is the only Saint that stayed on from her freshman class. Zelasko has been a strong piece on the team her entire career and showed leadership on and off the course. Her experience has been an amazing one for her and she is starting to imagine life without it. “Being a senior has felt surreal. I have played for this team and our coaches Bob Grisham and Mark Jensen for four years. It’s crazy to think at this time next year I won’t get the opportunity to fly to beautiful places with an awesome team and play such a fun game,” said Zelasko. Even though she will be done with her career at SMU, she will be moving on to the University of Washington Law School.
Warren came to the Saints from Spokane Community College and has spent the last two seasons playing for SMU. Even though she has only been with the Saints for a short time, she has had an amazing experience and made great memories. She had this to say about her favorite memory, “My time as a Saint was short but my favorite memory with my team is pretty much every time we’re all together. All of our personalities are very different but they work so well together. The best time with the team was probably when we were in Phoenix last year and our coach and the Concordia coach raced on the highway. We were going really fast. We definitely beat them.” Currently, Warren is enjoying her senior year and looking forward to the future, “Being a senior is really exciting and nerve-wracking all at once. I’m just trying to finish the semester strong with all my classes and enjoy the time with my friends and team before it all ends…My current plans are heading back home and finding a job in my field. I’m also looking into grad school opportunities. I think golf will always be in my life and maybe one day I’ll be a high school coach or something and help the game continue to grow.”