Sports and Outdoors
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Former MHS standout new girls
By Kerry Yancey
Monitor Staff Writer
MABANK–When veteran Mabank High School girls golf coach Debbie Ewing announced she would be stepping down, athletic director Jimmy Cantrell didn’t have far to look for a replacement.
Why not hire the local pro already on the staff?
A 1999 MHS graduate, Adrienne Gartreaux-McDonald went to the state tournament twice in high school, was a college All-American and played professional golf for four years on the Futures Tour.
Gartreaux-McDonald played on the Canadian tour this past summer, but has spent all this school year continuing the teaching/coaching career she started last February at Mabank Junior High.
A fierce competitor, who admitted to this reporter in an earlier article she liked the competition aspect of golf more than any other part of the game, Gartreaux-McDonald is certain to bring her intense mental focus to coaching the girls’ golf team.
Back in high school, she competed at the 4A level as a junior and finished in the top 10 at state, becoming one of the first MHS girls (if not the first) to advance to the state tournament.
As a senior, she competed at the 3A level, won the regional tournament and won a playoff to finish second at the state tournament.
“It was my goal (as a senior) to win district by 30 shots,” she recalled. “I won by 35.”
Larry Flowers served as her high school coach. “He taught me a lot about the mental game, and putting,” she said.
Gartreaux-McDonald recalled her talk with Flowers when she was facing a playoff to advance to state for the first time as a junior.
“It was the neatest experience,” she said. “There were about 150 people in the gallery, and it was getting dark.
“Larry asked me if I wanted to go hit some balls, and I said I wanted to putt,” she recalled. “I ended up making a putt to go to state.”
At the University of South Carolina, Gartreaux-McDonald led the Gamecocks’ ladies golf team to the Southeastern Conference (SEC) championship in 2002, and was listed as one of the top 20 players in the country.
As a senior, Gartreaux-McDonald served as the team captain and was one of the country’s top 10 players. She was an Academic All-American and won the prestigious Dinah Shore Trophy, given annually to one outstanding Division I player.
She majored in experimental psychology and did graduate work in hotel/restaurant/tourism management.
Gartreaux-McDonald now teaches U.S. history, and also coaches seventh-grade volleyball and eighth-grade basketball.
“They all overlap,” she said. “I don’t know how I’m going to fit it (golf) into my schedule, to tell you the truth. It all gets quite overwhelming at times.
“I love sports, I really love the kids and enjoy seeing them change for the better,” she added. “I like to help them to become productive members of society.”
Gartreaux-McDonald said she would start golf workouts in mid-January.
“So, I will have basketball practice before school, and golf after school,” she said. “Still, I’m sure excited about getting back on the golf course again.”
Gartreaux-McDonald will have a couple of returnees in Whitney Evans and Katelyn Pippin, and freshman Taylor Thrasher is being joined by some exciting prospects.
“They’re all good kids,” she said. “My goal is to instill those championship qualities in them on and off the course.”
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