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2012 Student-Athlete of the Year award: Quincy Hogan

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Hogan grew up on ‘the links’

By Kristin Beck

Some may call it a “good walk spoiled.” But to Quincy Hogan, golf is a sport that takes both mental and physical ability, one that is challenging but can also be a way to interact with people from across the state. 

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For as long as she can remember, Hogan has played golf and had an interest in animals. Soon she will be able to pursue both of her loves at the collegiate level as she moves on to Cumberland University with a spot on the women’s golf team and an academic track to being a veterinarian.

Her ability to balance this commitment to both her sport and her academics is why she was named the 2012 Female Student-Athlete of the Year. The award is presented by The News-Democrat and sponsored by Earl Floyd Ford.

Hogan said her dad taught her to play golf, an interest he passed along to his daughter from his days serving in the Navy. She competed in her first tournament as a fourth grader against then-third grader Lydia Gumm. Gumm is now a junior at North Hardin High School and one of the top players in the state.

Hogan said she remembers Gumm walking up to the tee box and saying, “‘Dad, should I shoot a fade or a draw?’ and my dad looked at me and said, ‘Quincy, have fun today,’” she said with a laugh. The two have remained pen pals over the years and played in the Junior Amateur tournament against each other this past season.

“I enjoy how (golf is) a mental game,” Hogan said. “You have to have physical ability too, but it’s more mental. It’s more having to think through situations. I like how it’s social, like Lydia, I’ve been friends with since fourth grade. I’ve met a lot of friends. … It gives you a lot of time to talk, and it allows you to make connections outside of school and from different places.”

Hogan has been a part of the Carroll County High School team since sixth grade. It was the 2005 season, and Lyndsey Bevill and Whitney Ballinger were seniors on the team.Hogan said she remembers the first day of practice, stepping up to the tee box and seeing two six-foot-tall-girls standing there. She said she remembers looking up at her dad and thinking, “‘what has he gotten me into?’” But the two girls took her under their wings, especially Bevill who has been like a sister to Hogan.

During Hogan’s sophomore year, she was the only person on the girls golf team. By then, the area coaches knew her and they would invite her to play in their matches as an individual.

When Jay Jones became head coach her junior year, Hogan said she told him she wanted a team to play with, so they recruited girls to come out and join. The girls did not have any experience playing golf, and Hogan was in the unfamiliar role of coaching. She said, at times, it was a struggle for her because she was trying to improve both her game and theirs at the same time. But it got easier, and she said she enjoyed her role as captain. This past season, everyone got along really well, and it felt like a family, she said.

Over the summer, Hogan played in larger tournaments against bigger schools in the state. Before her senior year, she played in tournaments at Fort Knox, Bardstown and Bowling Green. Her goal was to shoot in the 70s, and she shot a 77 and a 78 back-to-back in tournaments. She also placed third in the Grant County tournament and sixth in the Owen County tournament right before school resumed.

Hogan said she was “really, really happy” with her senior season. As a team, the Lady Panthers defeated district foes Trimble, Gallatin, Walton-Verona and Williamstown. As an individual, Hogan accomplished the overall goal she had for her high school career: qualify for state. She tied for runner-up in the 8th Region and competed in the state tournament at the Bowling Green Country Club. “That was the (ultimate) goal of any season was being able to get that experience and getting to go,” she said.

While she did not perform as well as she would have liked, Hogan said it was a great experience. It was nice to see all the girls she had played with over the years in one place, and the course was probably the most difficult she had ever played, she said.

In her high school career, Hogan played in the All-A state tournament four times. She has been named to the All-A Region team since eighth grade and to the All-Region Team since freshman year.

Hogan tries to practice golf daily, usually playing rounds three times a week and heading to the range the other days to fine-tune her swing and practice chipping and putting. She also works in a lot of cardio.

There is very little “off-season” for Hogan, noting that “if it is 40 degrees or above” she is outside on the golf course. However, during the wintry months, she said she lifts with strength coach Beau Arney 2-3 times a week and goes to the indoor range.

Beginning in the winter of 2010, Hogan also began working with Coach Joel Suggs from the Meadow Links and Golf Academy in Cincinnati, Ohio. There, he videotapes her swing and uses a vest to track her speed and movement to nitpick her swing.

“Golf is one of those sports that you can’t stop for a while and just pick up again because all your bad habits come back and get worse,” she said. “I can tell when I haven’t played for a week, and it drives me nuts. Practicing a lot helps me keep up with what I’m working on and keep away the bad habits.”

As senior year approached and she began looking at colleges, Hogan said she knew that she wanted to play golf at the next level. She wanted to attend a smaller, private university south of Carrollton, somewhere that would give her an opportunity to play. “I wanted to get on a team and play and prove myself and just have a chance,” she said.

Hogan and her family began looking up all of the NAIA schools and focused mainly on Kentucky, Tennessee and Georgia. Being a pre-vet major helped to narrow down the list as some of the smaller schools did not offer that program. She visited Cumberland University last spring and fell in love. “I just loved it and loved the team,” she said. “(The team) had a connection together, so it was just a choice automatically.”

The school offers a partial athletic scholarship. The women’s golf team receives a scholarship stipend each year and it is divided amongst the players. Hogan said she will be the team’s seventh player next year and will receive $10,000 her freshman year and at least $12,000 her sophomore year.

Hogan said she is looking forward to “everything” about college and playing with her new team. She has been in contact with the girls since she visited last spring and appreciates the opportunity to play on a team with players of similar skill level.

In addition to playing golf, Hogan has always wanted to be a veterinarian. She said she used to give speeches on how to treat animals and when she visited her grandmother growing up, they would visit the Owen County animal clinic so she could play with the animals.

Because veterinarians were not on the list of co-op options senior year, Hogan talked to a vet at the Carroll County Animal Clinic over the summer and began volunteering there before school started and continued as a co-op.

On her first day, she fainted and was not sure if she wanted to go back. But after talking to her grandma, she gave it another try and loved it. “It made up my mind that that’s what I want to do, which was the biggest thing I could have gotten out of it.”

Hogan also is committed to her academics. She has a weighted GPA of 4.25 and is ranked third in her class. She also is involved in school activities, serving as the vice president of the National Honor Society and a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes group. She said she signed up for almost every club at the high school last year, but this year, decided to focus more of her time and effort into fewer groups.

Junior year, Hogan said she remembers nights of only getting two hours of sleep and counted one week where she only got 19 hours over seven days. This year has been easier to balance and schedule time to get everything accomplished.

“Quincy is an outstanding, well-spoken young lady,” Athletic Director Randy Mefford said in his nomination form. “ I had the privilege of coaching her years ago on the golf team and have followed her high school career as a student-athlete. She is very deserving of receiving this award.”