A former multi-sport athlete from West Union made history last Thursday, becoming the first female golfer for Blue Mountain College.
Allie Newby took up the sport four years ago, helping the Lady Eagles build their program. Not knowing much about the game in the beginning, she found ways to progress, as she was named All-Division for three years, competed in the 1A State Championships every year in high school and was named the Lady Eagles’ Most Valuable Player both her junior and senior years. These accolades eventually earned her the first scholarship for the sport, which BMC will add to their athletic program this upcoming school year.
“I started playing golf in the ninth grade, and I wasn’t good,” Newby said. “I didn’t know how to play, but coaches and everyone on the team really helped and taught me a lot. After I got it down, I kept improving and this year I really stepped it up and tried to focus and do well. It paid off because now I have a scholarship, and I took it immediately because I know Blue Mountain is a really good school and to be the first girl to play is exciting.”
Head Coach Danny McKenzie started the men’s program this past year and is looking forward to the addition of not only Newby, but the women’s program in general.
“Allie is an outstanding athlete with a good work ethic,” McKenzie said. “I really believe when she’s able to concentrate on just one sport, and work on it like she knows she’ll have to, that she’ll be really good. She is an intense competitor, and that’s always a plus. Allie is the perfect first signee for our women’s program.”
Newby is well-known for her multi-sport abilities, having also played basketball and run cross country at West Union. For cross country, Newby was an all-division selection and all-state runner all four years and a member of the 1A state championship team in 2010-11. In basketball, Newby was named the Lady Eagles’ best offensive player her senior season after scoring 296 points, won the Lady Eagle Award and was named to the All-Union County team.
While she enjoyed the busy lifestyle in high school, Newby is very much looking forward to being a one-sport athlete at BMC.
“I’m glad I can only focus on this now, because it was hard in high school to try and play several sports. I could not focus solely on golf, but now I have all the time to do so and get better. I think I can do it.”
McKenzie hopes to add more locals to the Lady Toppers’ roster, but noted the lack of interest in the area hurts recruiting.
“Girls golf is not as big in this area as the boys, but I’m hoping that with our program beginning, they will see they have a local option to continue playing and the interest for the sport will grow,” he said. “I’ve had a lot of fun this past year with the guys, and I’m excited for the opportunity to watch the women’s program develop and hopefully achieve the same success.”
Newby plans to major in physical therapy and minor in art while and joins West Union classmates Will Basil (baseball) and Austin Bynum (golf), who have both signed in the last month.