The newly formed disc golf team is going to the Texas Collegiate Disc Golf Championship Oct. 26-27. Once there, they’ll work to earn a shot at nationals they need to finish in the top two of their respective region.
The sponsor of the team, Deonna Shake, instructor of exercise science and health has found some naturals to head to the qualifier. Lead by Nelson Goldsmith, junior finance major from Abilene who recently shot a hole in one during class, and Cory Nickodam, senior international studies major from Burleson. There is a possibility that Chris Perkins, junior political science major from Abilene, Brian Lang, sophomore business major from Abilene and Hunter Clinton, senior social work major from Keller will also make it to the qualifiers.
“We have always had a couple of ringers in the class who have already come in with the game, which is what happened this semester,” said Shake. “I am really excited about the guys I have going to the qualifier. We are going to leave our mark whatever that mark is.”
The competition is going to be ample but Shake says it doesn’t matter if a participant is Div. I or Div. II, a true disc golf player comes with the physical and mental skill set it takes to win.
“Every one starts at zero and these guys are excited and have a heart for it so anything can happen,” Shake said.
This journey started four years ago when ACU was building the new Student Recreation and Wellness Center. While looking for classes that would not require gym space, disc golf came up in Shakes’ department and she volunteered to teach the class. At one of the conferences she attended, Shake met Jay Reading, who happened to be a world champion disc golfer and a course designer.
After raising enough money, ACU built a course behind Smith Adams. It has since been enjoyed but the students, and the class has been filling up every semester.
Shake says Jay Reading sent her a text reading, “Will the wildcats answer the call?” along with a flyer for the Texas Disc Golf Championship. When Shake realized the skill level in the class was pretty high, she knew a few would be interested, so she replied to Reading saying, “On it.”
“I am hoping we can gain momentum to do this every year wherever it is held, springboard off this to make a disc golf club team.”