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
    • Rebels Emerge on Four Watch Lists This Week

      Friday, July 17, 2015 -

      Only 50 days until The Grove is full, the constant shouts of "Hotty Toddy" are in the air, and football kicks off 100 years in Vaught-Hemingway Stadium! Looking forward to this upcoming college football season, seven Rebels were named to... read more

    • Football Rebels All Over First Week of Watch List Releases

      Friday, July 10, 2015 -

      As we near the 2015 college football season, national organizations have started to release watch lists for their respective awards. Through the first week of watch lists being released, multiple Rebels have been announced as players that fans need to... read more

    • Engram, Hilton and Johnson to Represent Ole Miss at SEC Football Media Days

      Wednesday, July 8, 2015 -

      Along with head coach Hugh Freeze, three Rebels will represent Ole Miss at the annual SEC Football Media Days next week. Junior Evan Engram, just named to the John Mackey Award Watch List for college football's most outstanding tight end,... read more

    • Five Rebels Tabbed Preseason All-SEC in The Birmingham News

      Tuesday, June 30, 2015 -

      Five Ole Miss Rebels were chosen as preseason All-SEC selections by some of the people who work closest with the student-athletes, the football media relations directors. The 14 football media relations directors of the Southeastern Conference institutions voted in the... read more

    • Lindy's Sports Gives Seven Rebels Preseason Recognition

      Wednesday, June 24, 2015 -

      The preseason accolades just don't stop for the Ole Miss football team. Everywhere you look, Rebels can be found on preseason All-America teams. Lindy's Sports recognized seven Rebels for preseason honors, including four All-Americans. Four Ole Miss Football Rebels were... read more

    • Five Rebels Named Preseason All-America by Athlon Sports

      Tuesday, June 23, 2015 -

      With the season just 74 days away, members of the 2015 Ole Miss football team continue to earn recognition on Preseason All-America lists. Athlon Sports, the latest media outlet to release its 2015 college football preseason All-America team, gave five... read more

    • Sporting News Tabs Four Rebels to Preseason All-America Teams

      Monday, June 15, 2015 - Football

      Preseason All-America football teams continue to roll in, and Ole Miss has been well represented each time.Today, the Sporting News unveiled its preseason All-America first and second teams, which includes a total of four Rebels.OT Laremy Tunsil and DT Robert... read more

    • Athlon Sports Names Nine Rebels Preseason All-SEC

      Wednesday, June 10, 2015 - Football

      Individual preseason accolades continue to pile up for the Ole Miss football team as college football magazines look toward the 2015 season. Athlon Sports is the latest magazine to release its preseason all-conference teams, June 10; the magazine named nine... read more

    • Eleven Rebels Garner Phil Steele Preseason Honors

      Monday, June 1, 2015 - Football

      The start of summer heat and vacations is also the start of another tradition - preseason college football magazines.One of the first to produce a magazine every year is Phil Steele, whose 2015 version includes about as many Ole Miss... read more

    • Football Signees Report for Summer Classes

      Friday, May 29, 2015 - Football

      Although they will not begin competing for the Rebels until the fall, several members of the 2015 signing class have arrived at Ole Miss to begin their college journey this summer. The first of two summer sessions offered at the... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (April 28-May 4, 2015)

      Monday, May 4, 2015 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewApril 28-May 4, 2015Baseball - The Rebels started the week defeating the Bulldogs, 11-1 in the annual Governor's Cup. The 10-run win for the Rebels marked the largest margin of victory in the 36-year history... read more

    • VIDEO: Rebel Road Trip 2015

      Monday, May 4, 2015 - Athletics

      Rebel Road Trip 2015 from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • More on Steelers' Selection of Golson

      Friday, May 1, 2015 - Football

      Welcome to Pittsburgh...and welcome to #SteelersNation, @Quez_G! #SteelersDraft pic.twitter.com/oY8wZc10Kk-- Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) May 2, 2015 Congrats Senquez Golson! Drafted 56th overall in the 2015 #NFLDRAFT by the Pittsburgh Steelers. #HottyToddy #FinsUp pic.twitter.com/EPGayDNOu7-- Ole Miss Football (@OleMissFB) May 2, 2015 Ole... read more

    • Six Rebels Among Inaugural Scott County HOF Class

      Wednesday, April 29, 2015 - Athletics

      Six men with ties to Ole Miss were part of the inaugural class of 25 athletes and coaches inducted into the Scott County Hall of Fame this past Saturday at Roosevelt State Park in Morton. It is believed that this... read more

    • Freeze, Tuohy Conclude Play at Charity Golf Tournament

      Tuesday, April 28, 2015 - Football

      In a tie for 7th place at 7-under, @OleMissFB takes home $30,000 in charity and scholarship. #CFAPBGolf pic.twitter.com/qd0JzilyYR-- #CFAPBGolf (@CFAPeachBowl) April 28, 2015 The Ole Miss team of head football coach Hugh Freeze and Sean Tuohy turned in a strong... read more