Sanders Embraces Role Of Senior Leader

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM Haley Sanders
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM
Haley Sanders
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM

Oct. 9, 2012

By Sarah Harden
Ole Miss Athletics Media Relations

Arkansas native Haley Sanders is in the beginning stages of her senior campaign as a Rebel leading her team to an impressive top-10 finish at the Golfweek Conference Challenge in Vail, Colo., two weeks ago.  Sanders said she is finding it hard to believe she will play her final college golf tournament in May.

“College golf is something I always wanted to do. It was always my dream to play, so to be in my fourth year of it is unbelievable,” Sanders said. “The senior position is so important for everybody. You’re a leader because you’ve been here the longest, and you really have to set an example for everybody else on the team. I’ve always had great seniors before me, so for me, the senior year means the most.”

Sanders played in all 10 tournaments as a junior in 2011-12, including the NCAA Central Regional where she placed 18th overall.   She led the team with a 75.43 stroke average and four top-20 finishes. She said daily physical and mental preparation has been instrumental in her success on the golf course.

“We’ve really started to focus on making a game plan for the course when we get out there,” she said. “I’m going through the golf course, making a plan, and knowing what I’m going to do when I get out there, and that way when I get out there, my mind isn’t stressed about what I’m going to do on this hole, because I already know.”

Sanders has excelled not only on the golf course during her time as a Rebel, but also in the classroom. She has been named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll (including the SEC Freshman Academic Honor Roll) and the Chancellor’s Honor Roll and was also named a National Golf Coaches Association (NGCA) All-American Scholar for the 2010-11 season. She credits her academic success to the time management skills she has learned from her coaches and past teammates.

“Balancing your time and learning how to get your workouts and your practice in and getting your schoolwork done, you have to have good time management skills, but I also think the most important thing is to enjoy yourself while you’re here,” Sanders said. “It’s really easy to get wrapped up in the practice and the workouts and the schoolwork and the traveling, and you find that you kind of miss things that you need to enjoy a little more. I think that’s what I would say to the younger girls, to really relish every year, because, before you know it, it’s over.”

Sanders, who began playing golf at the age of three and taking lessons at the age of five, said she believes her love of golf is tied to the memories of playing with her family while growing up.

 “My dad started taking me out to the golf course when I was three-years-old,” she said. “It was what I always loved to do, so when I was old enough to behave out there, he started taking me out and gave me a club, and I would hit it around. I just kind of had a passion for it. Then my younger brother started playing, and we started going out there as a family, and it just became a way to spend time together on the weekends and the afternoons. I think that’s why I love it so much. It was built around my family.”

The unique competitive style of golf has also fueled Sanders’ passion for the game.

 “Golf is extremely competitive because you’re playing with anywhere from 90 to 120 girls, but at the same time, there’s a respect and a camaraderie out there that you just don’t see in a lot of other sports,” Sanders said. “We’re not kicking a ball, and we’re not hitting and tackling each other. You say ‘good shot’ and other nice things to each other, so while it’s competitive it’s also very friendly out there as well.”

One of three seniors on the team this year, Sanders hopes to set a good example for her younger teammates.

 “I want them to see me as a leader,” she said. “I want them to see me as a positive member of the team who made an impact and really did my part, whether it be in the classroom, in workouts, on the course, wherever, and that I always gave it my best and that I always set a good example for everyone as well as representing Ole Miss and our team very well.”

Sanders chose Ole Miss after visiting the campus and the Grove during a football game.

“My favorite thing about Oxford is the warmth of the town,” she said. “Everything here is about the university. When I visited, I just felt so comfortable here and felt like this was somewhere I could be. It’s a home away from home for me, and I just really love being here.”

Sanders said she hopes to see more Ole Miss fans attend the Rebel Intercollegiate tournament in April this year.

“It’s a warm, welcoming environment, and we work really hard to do what we do, and any support that we get is always awesome,” she said. “The golf course is a lot different than other venues because it’s very quiet. It’s nice to just come and enjoy the fellowship that the golf course provides because it’s very relaxing.”

Sanders and the Rebels will travel to Chapel Hill, N.C. next week, where they will compete in their tournament of the year, the UNC Tar Heel Invitational, Oct. 12-14.

Ole Miss Gear
    Facebook
    Twitter
    Blog
    • Striking The Right Balance Offensively

      Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - Football

      Ole Miss has been held under 100 yards rushing in each of its last meetings with Alabama, a 33-14 loss in 2012 and a 25-0 loss in 2013. Running the ball effectively and finding a balance is one area, the... read more

    • 3 Things About Gameday - Ole Miss vs. Alabama

      Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - Football

      read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Sept. 22-28)

      Monday, September 29, 2014 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewSept. 22-28, 2014Football- No. 10 Ole Miss used a dominant defensive effort to put away Memphis 24-3 on Saturday, setting up one of the biggest games in recent history this coming Saturday against the Alabama... read more

    • PHOTOS: Week-Long Timeline of Powder Blues

      Monday, September 29, 2014 - Football

      1. Tuesday 9/23 at 4PM @CoachHughFreeze reveals the helmets to the @olemissfb team at team meeting. pic.twitter.com/8jpVCvny4p— OleMissPix (@OleMissPix) September 29, 2014 2. Wed 9/24 at 4PM @OleMissFB practice hidden indoors so that team practice in helmets for safety reasons. pic.twitter.com/vA0Oo6Ps7S— OleMissPix (@OleMissPix) September... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House

      Sunday, September 28, 2014 - Athletics

      It's Sunday, so that means it's time for this week's Observations from the Best Seat in the House. I'll handle the bulk of the notes this week, but we also have some insight from Austin Miller here as well. Let's... read more

    • Upset Bid Falls Short Against No. 10 A&M

      Sunday, September 28, 2014 - Soccer

      Seeking its first win over a top-10 team since 2009, Ole Miss took a 1-0 lead but fell short to No. 10 Texas A&M, 2-1, Sunday afternoon. "I'm really happy with the team's performance," head coach Matt Mott said. "I'm... read more

    • Defense Honors Mullins with Dominant Effort

      Saturday, September 27, 2014 - Football

      Wearing the lighter blue helmets for the first time since 1994 to honor the late Chucky Mullins, the Ole Miss defense also honored his memory with perhaps the most dominant defensive performance of the Hugh Freeze Era. "Chucky would have... read more

    • VIDEO: Ole Miss-Memphis Motivational

      Saturday, September 27, 2014 - Football

      Ole Miss vs Memphis: Official Team Motivational from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • Three and Out: Keys to Ole Miss-Memphis

      Saturday, September 27, 2014 - Football

      Three areas to watch as No. 10 Ole Miss faces Memphis Saturday. Battle of the Quarterbacks Ole Miss and Memphis have both gotten steady quarterback play, as both teams rank inside the top-15 nationally in scoring offense.  Senior quarterback Bo... read more

    • Rebels Rebound with Hard-Fought Draw

      Thursday, September 25, 2014 - Soccer

      Playing in their fourth overtime game of the season, the Ole Miss soccer team played Arkansas to a 1-1 double-overtime draw on Thursday night.  The teams combined for 30 shots, including 13 on goal, but the game was characterized more... read more

    • 3 Things About Gameday - Ole Miss vs. Memphis

      Thursday, September 25, 2014 - Football

      read more

    • Freeze Stresses Focus, Attention Ahead of Memphis

      Thursday, September 25, 2014 - Football

      Highlights from Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze's time on the SEC teleconference Wednesday, ahead of the Rebels' matchup with Memphis on Saturday (6:30 p.m. CT, Fox Sports Net). Freeze's time on the call begins at the 1:21:20 mark. For... read more

    • Memphis Not Fazed by Big Stage

      Wednesday, September 24, 2014 - Football

      Memphis is 2-1 heading into Saturday's matchup with wins over Austin Peay (63-0) and Middle Tennessee (36-17) and a 42-35 loss at No. 11 UCLA. The Tigers scored two early fourth-quarter touchdowns to tie the Bruins at 35-35 with 13:44... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Sept. 15-21)

      Monday, September 22, 2014 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewSept. 15-21, 2014Volleyball- Ole Miss went 4-0 to capture the Rebel Classic and improve to 14-0 on the season.- Through four weeks of the season, the Rebels have equaled last year's win total (14-17).- Sophomore... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House - Sept. 21

      Sunday, September 21, 2014 - Athletics

      This is the fourth installment of Observations from the Best Seat in the House. The idea of this weekly feature will be to bring you all some of our observations from the previous week in Ole Miss Sports. This week... read more