Photo: Glencoe High School senior Lauren Cole recently signed a golf scholarship with Wallace State-Hanceville. Cole was a member of the Lady Yellow Jackets’ 2015 Class 3A state championship girls golf team. Pictured, sitting, from left: mom Kim, dad Jeremy, Lauren, sister Madison. Standing, from left: GHS girls golf coach Jason Pierce, Wallace State-Hanceville golf coach J.J. Adams, GHS principal Charlton Giles.
By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor
Lauren Cole’s prowess on the links and in the classroom recently earned her a college scholarship.
The Glencoe High senior signed to play golf at Wallace State-Hanceville.
As a three-sport athlete for the Lady Yellow Jackets, Cole has earned all-area and all-county honors in volleyball and basketball. But the golf course is where she has made a name for herself.
Just this past season, Cole won both the Etowah County Junior Golf Tournament and Gadsden Area Golf Tournament championship, was the Class 1A-3A Northeast Section low medalist, the low medalist in the substate playoffs and finished third individually and helped Glencoe to a fourth-place team finish at the Class 1A-3A state tournament. While competing at state, she scored a hole-in-one on The Shoals’ School Master Course Hole No. 16. She also served as Glencoe’s team captain and was the Etowah County Junior Golf Tournament Shootout champion.
In Glencoe’s 14-match regular season in 2018, Cole was the team’s low medalist 13 times and tied for first once.
“I feel like I’ve accomplished a lot and all my work has paid off,” said Cole, who plans on majoring in the physical therapy or athletic training fields. “[Wallace-Hanceville golf] coach [J.J.] Adams was very nice and kind of took me in as one of his own. I just felt like family when I visited. Plus, one of my friends, Savannah Hughes, who is home-schooled, is also going there for golf, so it’s will be nice to finally be a part of the same team with her.”
Cole was a starter for the Lady Yellow Jackets’ volleyball team that finished fourth at the North Super Regional Tournament and qualified for the Elite Eight state tournament. As a forward in basketball, she helped Glencoe reach the Northeast Region Tournament finals last season and the regional semifinals as a sophomore. Cole was named to the All-Messenger girls basketball second team as a junior.
Cole acknowledged the challenges of being a three-sport varsity athlete, particularly while maintain an ‘A’ average in the classroom.
“My grades always come first before sports, and it’s very hard and it takes a lot of time and dedication. But [playing a sport] gives me something to do, and I love to compete.”
Cole pointed out that she has little spare time in the off-season to work on her golf game, as do many of her competitors across the state who concentrate on golf year-round.
“I kind of go from one sport to the next. When it’s golf season, I focus on golf, when it’s basketball season I focus on basketball, and so forth.”
As for her senior season on the golf team, Cole has specific goals in mind.
“I’ve always wanted to win state as an individual, but just to get to state against as a team would be absolutely amazing, especially for our younger players.”
Glencoe girls golf coach Jason Pierce said that Wallace-Hanceville is getting a both first-class individual and a first-class golfer.
“As far as playing at the next level, I think Lauren’s game will really grow because she plays three sports and is constantly going from one to the other,” he said. “When she gets to Hanceville, she’ll be able to concentrate on one (sport), and I think her game will really develop. This [scholarship] is a testament to how hard Lauren works and how much she wants to perform at a high level. She’s just a well-rounded student-athlete, and I’m tickled to death that I have her for one more season.”