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Titan of success leads team

Keldy  Ortiz

By Keldy Ortiz
March 13, 2014 at 6:01 p.m.
Updated March 12, 2014 at 10:13 p.m.

Victoria East coach Mike Smith and former Victoria High golfer Caleigh Etheredge, 26,  line up Etheredge's put on the third hole at the Victoria Country Club. Members of the Victoria Memorial 2004 girls golf team played a round together  Jan. 15  for the first time since the team won the state championship in 2004.

Mike Smith admits coaching the sport of golf is unlike coaching basketball.

"If you coach basketball the right way, it's very stressful," the Victoria East girls golf coach said. "It's (golf) not as stressful."

Smith is in his fourth year coaching the East team and is no stranger to success.

Smith helped Victoria Memorial bring home a girls' golf state title in 2004, six years after finishing his basketball coaching career at Victoria High.

At Victoria High, Smith helped lead the boys basketball team to two state tournaments and led the girls to one trip.

Smith, however, faces a new challenge in golf.

"We've lost some players," Smith said. "It's an unfortunate situation, but it happens. They're young, but they're going to be fine."

East boys golf coach Troy McIntosh leaned on Smith when he started coaching at East. McIntosh graduated from Victoria High in 1989 when Smith was a basketball coach.

"His overall experience is his best asset," McIntosh said. "He's seen just about everything."

Dealing with a cast of young players is nothing new for Smith, and he realizes getting to the point of success will take a bit.

"You have to spend a lot of time on the fundamentals," Smith said. "It's everything. It takes time, but the good news is it's a game you can develop in and get good at."

Victoria West girls golf

Scott Ledbetter hopes the West girls golf team gains experience from the tournaments it has played this season.

Though Ledbetter has seen glimpses of future success from underclassmen including sophomore Emily Richter, he says it will take time.

"It's frustrating at times," Ledbetter said. "It's golf, so you can't play defense."

Victoria East boys golf

The Titans have had five third-place finishes this season.

Though McIntosh believes the team needs to overcome mental hurdles, progress has been made.

"They all have been getting better," McIntosh said about the team. "Golf is funny because you can go out and have a good day one day, and then the next day things won't go well."



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