Eubanks takes high school golf to the top
Manila High School Girls' Golf, in its second year, made headlines as the two-girl team of Michelle Eubanks and Bethany Daley won the District Championship, the Regional Championship, and third in State competition. Eubanks received the medalist title in the regional tournament with an 84 and medalist in the state competition with an 86.
The Manila team was only two strokes behind the first and second place teams. Eubanks received All State awards.
The top three golfers in state competition move on to overall state. Eubanks she was taking one tournament at a time but was very excited when she learned she had qualified for the over-all tournament.
"That is when the pressure gets tough," Eubanks said.
The overall state tournament consists of 12 girls. This year's tournament was held at Harbor Oakes in Pine Bluff on May 27 and 28.
Daley accompanied her team mate to Pine Bluff and served as caddy and supporter for the over-all match. Eubanks completed the season fourth place in the overall state tournament. The top three golfers had competed in the over-all tournament last year. The top two scorers were tied with 85 and the next two were tied at 87. Eubanks lost third place in the play-offs.
Eubanks said she will be more ready for the pressure and the cameras next year.
"After the first nine holes I was ahead and it seemed like the cameras were on me from then on. It did make me nervous," Eubanks said.
Eubanks was instrumental in getting girls' golf started at Manila High School last year. She had played with her dad, Brad Eubanks, since she was eight years old, but between her freshman and sophomore years began to get serious with her game and wanted to compete at the high school level.
"Coach Anthony Brewington and Dennis Seyler, Booster Club President, worked with us to get girls' golf started last year," Eubanks said. "I really want to thank Mrs. Wagner (superintendent), the administration, and the faculty for their support and their willingness to work with me during the tournaments. Also, I appreciate my parents (Brad and Tonia Eubanks) for all of their support."
Eubanks also received a congratulations letter from the UALR on her play during the over-all state tournament.
Eubanks goal is to win the over-all state tournament her senior year.
"I think I will be more ready next year. Not being there before, I did not know exactly what to expect," Eubanks said.
Eubanks has also played basketball for the Manila Lady Lions since she was in the fourth grade. She enjoys basketball but said golf is a game she can take with her after graduation for many years to come.
"I'd like to see the girls' program grow at MHS and have more interest. Women's golf is a growing sport. Hopefully, some day MHS will have more girls involved. Golf is something you can never prefect. That is always room for improvement. In golf you wake up in a different world every day," Eubanks said.
Eubanks played in several tournaments last summer through the Jr. ASGA program. She plans to play some tournaments this year but will not have the time as she is serving as Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) State President and will be attending several conferences, attending ACT classes, and is going with with a group on a World Changers' mission trip.
Eubanks' best tournament score has been 84 and her worst was 117. She is still waiting on her hole in one but is sure that some day it will happen. In the overall state practice round Eubanks said a golfer from Greenwood got her first hole in one.
Golf courses are different and Eubanks enjoys playing at different locations. She said Sage Meadows in Jonesboro is her favorite but Harbor Oakes in Pine Bluff is one of the nicest public courses she has played on. She said the most difficult course for her is Ridge Point in Jonesboro.
Eubanks will be a senior and Daley will be a sophomore next year. Both are looking forward to the upcoming season. There will be changes in the next season due to the fact that the season will begin in August instead of the spring. This year high schools will play five and count the best three scores.
Daley is looking forward to the upcoming season, also. She is the daughter of Jeff and Terri Daley of Manila.