A Branch of the Family Tree
Senior Julia Eaton continues family tradition in golf
Cars quietly pass by and the small “ping” of a ball being flung off a tee lingers in the air. An occasional hum of a golf cart makes its way to the first hole. The sun glistens off the freshly cut grass and the driving range is being used in full force. It’s a Sunday afternoon, and senior Julia Eaton is practicing on the putting green by herself, patiently zoning in on each chip and putt.
Eaton was not always by herself, however. For years, she was accompanied by her two sisters.
“When I was younger it was a lot of fun to have two older sisters who also played golf because then I wouldn’t have to practice by myself,” Eaton said. “We would always play and practice together every day during the summers. They made me a better player because I really wanted to beat them since they were older than me.”
Sisters Hannah and Rachel Eaton both played golf at HSE. Hannah went off to Indiana University and Rachel to Purdue University. The sisters all were influenced to play golf by their dad who ingrained a love for the sport in them. The sport still exists as an outlet for family bonding, for they continue to watch, talk and play golf with each other.
“It was fun to play with my sisters but also challenging at the same time when we were competing for the same spot,” Hannah Eaton said. “It was nice to have someone to practice with and go to tournaments with in the summer. It became a family sport and great way to come back and watch golf after I graduated.”
Having sisters on the same team was not just fun and games, as Julia gained much experience and skill by practicing with older players. Having teammates to practice with who were just a few steps down the hallway kept Eaton’s motivation high and love for the game strong.
After years of training with older competitors, these circumstances led her to placing in the top few every match her Senior year, which contributed greatly to the team’s first place title at sectionals and eleventh place finish at State in September. Her knowledge of the game gives her a way to leave a mark on her teammates who may not have played the sport for as long or have had the same learning opportunities.
Not only does Eaton help give her teammates a resource to someone with more golf experience, but she enjoys the team aspect almost more than she does the actual sport. Despite the sport’s individual-based reputation, Eaton loves seeing how the entire team contributes to the score as a whole and not just how she herself measures up after a match. Sophomore teammate Ashley Marcinko looks to Eaton as a friend and role model on the course.
“Julia has been around the team for a long time so she definitely knows how practice and weekend tournaments work,” Marcinko said. “When I was a freshman, Julia helped me out a lot by taking me to play at most of the courses we played that upcoming season. By just being around her, her attitude is contagious and makes me want be as welcoming and fun and as her.”
Eaton will be the only sibling to continue her golf career after high school. Next fall, she will be following her dreams of playing golf out West at The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. But wherever life takes the three sisters, golf will always be able to bring them back together.
Story by Raegan Walsh