Editor’s note: Since being part of a high school sports team isn’t just about competing in scheduled events, the Daily Herald is going behind the scenes and telling a little bit of the stories of our 2020 spring athletic squads here in Utah Valley. To do that, we are having team captains describe their teams, talk about favorite experiences and relate lessons learned.
When the Salem Hills girls golf team first found out that the first two tournaments had been canceled, the Skyhawks were disappointed but didn’t let it dampen their spirits.
“A few of us went down to a practice hole and took a picture of all of us jumping up in the air,” sophomore captain Erica Murdock said in a phone interview earlier this month. “We were like, it doesn’t matter. We’re fine! It was fun.”
She said that moment was one that highlighted the type of team Salem Hills had this year.
“They are really, really fun girls,” Murdock said. “They are all super-nice. They are just a party. We all get along, so it’s good.”
She said that although efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 ended the Skyhawk golf season before it really got started, she is still feels like the team is staying connected.
“We were kind of new to each other this year but girls are reaching out to their friends on the team,” Murdock said. “Our coach contacted us as well about getting range balls to go practice and we were super-grateful for that opportunity to still be able to get out and practice. It’s been good to hear from the team, even if it is just like by text chat.”
Salem Hills head coach Brad Fillmore said Murdock was hoping to have a big season for the Skyhawks this year but that was only one of her talents.
“Erica was a freshman last year and qualified for the state tournament and was all-region,” Fillmore said. “Erica is a great athlete who also trains in martial arts and is also in choir and school musicals. She is very well-rounded and positive to be around.”
Murdock said she loves the social aspect of golf the most.
“I love meeting new people,” she said. “I love that I can go to a tournament and not know any of the girls on the other teams. I start playing and we can make new friends that way. I also love being outdoors and the courses are always so beautiful.”
She said this 2020 season has taught her to stay focused on where she wants to be.
“I’ve learned that it’s important to keep up your skills,” she said. “With school being gone, I still have to work to keep up my grades. With golf tournaments being gone, I shouldn’t slow down. I still need to practice. It’s important to have the self-motivation to do things.”
She’s grateful that she has a couple more years and opportunities ahead.
“This is an opportunity to get better,” Murdock said. “I know I have a couple more years, so I’m going to prepare for those years. It sucks not having tournaments and the practice time with coaches, but since I will have that in the future, it’s important for me to work as hard as I can right now.”