Ahead of the curve
Senior leadership teams up, works to propel A&M to new levels
Published: Thursday, February 14, 2013
Updated: Thursday, February 14, 2013 00:02
For a majority of athletic teams around the country, a single unchallenged leader is more than common — its precedent. For Texas A&M women’s golf, however, two seniors have secured a shared role as the team’s uncontested leaders, a responsibility both have flourished at since earning the title last semester.
Sarah Beth Davis and Mary Michael Maggio — starters who accounted for all three of the Aggies’ top 10 individual finishes last semester — guide A&M into the second half of its season with hopes of the program reaching unprecedented levels of success.
From head coach Trelle McCombs’ perspective, the two seniors’ personalities harmonize well to create a more confident leadership position for the team.
“I think they complement each other and that they look to each other for advice,” McCombs said. “In the last year, I would say that Sarah has really blossomed as a leader on the team. She’s not a vocal leader, she’s just one of those leaders that’s levelheaded. [Mary Michael] knows her role in terms of leadership. She does a really good job of balancing the needs of her team plus her own personal needs for the [both] to play their best.”
Maggio, a transfer from LSU following her sophomore season, immediately found herself contributing for the Aggies on the golf course. The Arkansas native nailed down a spot on the All-Big 12 squad due to her team second-best 74.85 stroke average, securing four top 10 individual finishes including a first place decision at conference championships.
Taking over the open leadership position came naturally for Maggio as “younger players automatically look up to you.” For Maggio though, her contributions on the golf course are nowhere near as important as the tradition she leaves behind for future players to build on.
“I know that as a senior class, we just want to set a good example,” Maggio said. “We want to [be known] as kids that work hard on the golf course [and] in the classroom. We want to make sure we’re leading them in the right direction. We want to leave a legacy. For me, that’s the biggest thing: what legacy do I want to leave?”
For Davis — a third generation Aggie — there has never been a question of where she wanted to play golf.
“She’s a born and bred Aggie,” McCombs said. “I don’t think there was ever really another school that she looked at.”
Beginning her golf career in Victoria, Texas at the age of five, the senior has performed and prospered since her arrival in College Station. Davis contributed early and often, helping A&M to a Big 12 Championship during her freshman season and starting all four of her years on campus.
With her collegiate career winding down, however, the senior has set the bar high for her team as it heads into her final semester.
“Our ultimate goal is to win a national championship,” Davis said. “The first step we took in that [direction] is believing that we’re a team that can do that. That’s what we’ve been working on this past fall semester and into this semester, having that belief. We’re working as one team, all on the same level, encouraging each other to work hard every day.”
As the Texas A&M women’s golf team visits Tallahassee, Fla., this weekend for the Florida State Match-Up, their senior leadership looks to build confidence on a “squad full of potential.”
“This team has a lot of talent, from top to bottom,” Maggio said. “I would go out and say that this is one of the most talented teams in the country. You have to have confidence to precede excellence and I think that we want to be excellent in everything we do.”