Selecting a college or university to attend is not an easy decision for many high school seniors as they approach graduation. Location, size of the university, cost, and degree plans are some of the factors to consider as students try to decide where they will be spending the next four years. This process is often times stressful and time consuming. For Shelby Hardy, the stress and worry is over.
On November 14th, the San Saba High School senior signed a National Letter of Intent to play golf at Sam Houston State University, a Division I college in the Southland Conference. SHSU is located in Huntsville, Texas with an enrollment of over 16,500 undergraduate students. Sam Houston was the Women’s Golf Southland Conference Champions in 2007 and the runner-up in 2008, just missing back to back conference titles by 3 strokes. Hardy will play for the Bearkat’s Women’s Golf team starting in the Fall of 2009.
Shelby said, “Now that I know where I’m going and what I’ll be doing, a lot of the pressure is off and I can stay focused on the remainder of my senior year.” Hardy is a member of the Lady Dillo basketball team, (where she has All-District- Regional- West Texas- & State Honors) and is the defending Class 2A State Champion girl’s golfer for 2008, having set a 2A Girls State Record with the lowest 36 hole score in 2A Girls State championship history, this past May. Hardy was second at State Golf in 2007 as well as Regional Co-Champion that year and is a 2-time District Champion (2006 & 2008). In her High School career, she has six other tournament wins and eight Top 5 performances (mostly 2nd & 3rd). The Lady Dillo Golf Team brought home State Bronze and Silver in 2006 & 2008, respectfully.
Shelby chose Sam Houston State University over several other colleges that had also offered her scholarships to play basketball and golf. Hardy said of her decision, “I chose Sam Houston because I loved the campus, the golf facilities, and the coach. I really felt at home and accepted, and I’m really happy with my decision.”
Shelby’s Jr. High and High School Golf Coach, Ronnie Schulze said, “This little adventure started a long time ago. I told her in Junior High that she would be a Division 1 player. I’m very proud of her, I think this decision to go to Sam Houston is a great decision, they have a great facility and an outstanding program”.
And San Saba ISD Athletic Director, Joel Johnson said, “There’s not a doubt in my mind that she will be successful in college and beyond. It has been an honor to watch her the past five years and it will be an honor to continue to follow her in the years to come.”
In an interview on Monday Nov. 17th, Sam Houston Women’s Golf Coach, Tommy Chain had these comments on his new Bearkat player: "I became interested in Shelby when I saw how great she did at State. I was very impressed with her during telephone conversations and impressed with her knowledge of golf and her desire to play golf. I believe she'll be an impact player for Sam Houston State University, making the starting five and helping the Women's Golf Team to shoot the kind of numbers to win tournaments. I know other schools were recruiting Shelby in both golf and basketball and I'm excited she signed with Sam Houston State University. I believe that Shelby, in a couple of years, will be one of the top players in the conference."
Golfing has been a part of Shelby’s life from a very early age, when she first swung a club at the age of five and played in her first tournament when she was seven. She has been a member of the West Texas Junior Championship Tour where she had 25 wins and five Top 3 finishes. Hardy has also competed in the Northern Texas Jr. PGA with 3 wins and two Top 4 placings. Shelby came in first 6 times in Junior High and other Open tournaments prior to High School, with two more Top 3 finishes.
Other tours Hardy has been a member of include the Texas Legends Junior Tour and has won 2 tournaments there and finished in the Top 10 on two other occasions. As a member of the Texas Junior Golf Tour, she has four Top 10 finishes including one 2nd place. And in the American Junior Golf Association she has been in the Top 20 seven times with a third place being her best AJGA finish. Shelby's Junior Golf Scoreboard ranking for all 2009 graduates is No.7 in the State and her Polo Golf National ranking is No. 181.
Shelby responded "I would like to thank all my family, friends, my golfing buddies, coaches and teachers,who helped me, and molded me into the person I am today. I wouldn’t be where I am today without all these special people in my life. There are so many people who had an influence on me, I don’t want to forget anyone, but I want to say thank you to all of you and I love you! Most of all, I want to thank God for giving me the ability to play golf and for bringing all these people into my life.”