LEMOORE — Just two short years ago, Janelle Sweeney joined the Lemoore golf team. On Friday, she signed her National Letter of Intent to play golf at Providence Christian College.
“It was goal of mine, but it seemed like it was not achievable,” Sweeney said. “But with the help of my coaches it became reality.”
The 17-year-old senior had her family, friends and coaches in attendance at the event center at Lemoore High School to watch her ink her commitment and officially become a Sea Beggar. A Sea Beggar, the official mascot for the school, is a Christian pirate.
Before she signed, Lemoore golf coach Kevin Roberts stated how proud he was of Sweeney. Providence Christian College women’s golf coach, Josh Ault, who was also in attendance, was grateful in being able to welcome her to the team he said.
“It means a lot because I know that these kids put a lot of time and effort into it, and I expect a lot out of them, and whenever they get to see their dream come true, it’s a fulfilling moment for me,” Roberts said.
An emotional Sweeney read a speech she prepared thanking those who had helped her along her journey and expressed her excitement in not only playing golf at Providence Christian College, but also being able to strengthen her religious beliefs.
“I thought I wouldn’t cry as much as I did, but it’s really a blessing to be able to further my career in golf with all my friends and family here who have supported me since day one,” Sweeney said.
She looked at Hope International University and Simpson University, but Providence Christian College won her heart over.
“I had visited [Ault] and it was my first time talking to him and meeting him,” Sweeney said about her visit earlier this year. “I just fell in love with the environment and who he is as a person. So I could just really see myself at [Providence Christian College].”
During her two seasons with the Tigers, Sweeney helped the team to a runner-up finish in the Division II championship and just missed qualifying for the Division I championship this season. Her presence on the course was felt as a No. 1 and No. 2 golfer on the ladder.
Roberts said he’s going to miss Sweeney’s work ethic and her ability to adapt and incorporate new things into her game faster than other players. It’s what’s helped her get to this point with just two seasons of golf under her belt.
“There’s girls who have been playing their whole lives and they don’t get to experience what she’s experiencing today,” Roberts said. “She’s getting to live her dream and that’s what we all want.”
Providence Christian College, located in Pasadena, California, is a private Christian liberal arts college where Sweeney will major in education in hopes of becoming a PE teacher.
“I’m really excited to learn that and at the same time be able to learn more about Christianity and grow with God,” Sweeney said.
Noe Garcia can be reached at (559) 583-2431 or email@example.com. Follow Noe on Twitter at @noecarlosgarcia.
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