Senior golfers Summer Stillson and Alaina Benjamin celebrated their senior night in style Thursday night with a 27 shot victory over Concord. Summer fired a one over par 37 and Alaina turned in a 48 to help the varsity to a final score of 170 to 197. These seniors are an amazing duo who are not only good golfers but excellent student leaders at NWHS. We have been blessed to have them contribute to so many great successes and memories over the past 4 years. Their goals are lofty for the rest of their senior seasons but regardless of the outcome, their mark on NorthWood Athletics and the Girls Golf Program has been absolutely tremendous. Here is the senior night transcript from last night, most of which was written by these two ladies:
2016 Senior Night
Ladies and Gentlemen, we’d like to welcome everyone here tonight to McCormick Creek. Before we start tonight’s match, we honor our seniors Alaina Benjamin and Summer Stillson. NorthWood Athletics and the Girls’ Golf Program thanks both these young ladies and their families for their commitment over their careers.
Alaina Benjamin is in her fourth season as a part of the golf program and is a team co-captain this year. Alaina is the daughter of Scott and Sylvia Benjamin. Some of her favorite golf memories include: late nights painting nails and rooming with Abby and Kenzie. She will also always remember riding around with Maddie in practice so many times. Alaina plans to attend college somewhere in the South, most likely the University of Tennessee, to study law and business
Her messages include:
To her parents: Thank you for investing in and supporting me throughout these last four years. I am very grateful. I love you very much.
To Coach Yoder: Thank you for investing in me these past 4 years and for being patient with me. You have taught me a multitude of things about the game. I appreciate everything you’ve done to make me a better player.
To the team: To the freshmen, thank you for always cheering me on. To the sophomores, I have love watching you improve and enjoyed our good times together. To the juniors, thank you for making golf enjoyable, and I am happy to be passing the team to you guys next year. I love you all very much, Thank you! And finally, to Summer, thank you for everything, these past 4 years have flown by.
Alaina, I want to thank you personally for being willing to try something new your freshman year and join this crazy program we have. Your contributions to our team has been outstanding and your early season performances have been important in our early season successes. I also appreciate your leadership over the past four years, most specifically with players younger than you. You are a great leader for our program and an awesome student-athlete. You have grown so much as a player and as a person these past four years, and I know you’re going to do more great things as you leave NorthWood.
Our next senior is Summer Stillson. Summer is the daughter of Jeff and Angie Stillson. She plans to study something sports related whether it be statistics, broadcasting, or management with a minor in Spanish at Saint Mary’s College, where she’d play golf, or the University of Notre Dame. Her words: Maybe I’ll broadcast for ESPN and you can all say you know me well!
Her Favorite Memories include:
Having my parents and Cybil around to watch nearly every match is the greatest comfort and one of the memories I will always remember.
Rapping Ice Ice Baby with Rayla and Adam in the bus. (I just heard that song the other day and that is the first thing I thought of)
Playoff with Linz at the Twin Lakes Invite.
Holing out from 80 yards on 16 at Noble Hawk for my first eagle.
Playing Black Magic
“Mickey says to hit a 7 iron right by the pin!” at practice round at Meadow Valley with AY and Linz.
Beating the 2015 state champion at Palmira this year (they don’t ask how, at the end they ask how many)
As a freshman coming into this program, you don’t quite know what to expect. So the entire day of regionals my freshman year at Noble Hawk was something I’ll never forget. I didn’t know how the scoring worked, I didn’t know what other teams were good, etc. Standing on the tables in their pavilion waiting to see (both freshman and junior year) if we would qualify was one of the best memories.
Having Jon, Logan, and Sarah there to cheer us on was even better.
Meeting so many new friends.
Her messages include:
To my parents: Thank you. You’ve put in so much time for me to live out my love for this game and this group of people. Thank you for always wanting to make sure I’m prepared, have what I need to be successful, and reminding me to have fun. I love you guys.
Side note: I’ve learned a lot more from Cybil than most people about the game of golf. To Cyb: Your determined mindset on the course is something I’ve taken from you and tried to implement into my game. This program can’t wait for you to join us and continue making history and memories. Maybe I’ll be the assistant coach by then hahahaha
Thanks for letting me call you Adam; I’m pretty sure I started that. There’s so much I could thank you for, and I do. Oh yeah, here’s a big one. I owe my bunker play to you. I probably still wouldn’t be a half-decent bunker player if it weren’t for you. Your coaching style and personality is what I appreciate most. You always know what to say, on and off the course, about golf and life. I am always at ease when you are around me on the course (I think my parents are less stressed then too). It’s been fun collaborating with you about creative shots. The one I remember most is at Legacy Hills my freshman year going over the big pond on 18 or 9, near the clubhouse. Please continue to do what you are doing now, because I promise you, we all appreciate it, and are better players, teammates, and people because of it. Thanks, Coach.
To the team: I thank you guys for making my senior season a memorable one so far. I am really looking forward to our conference tournament here at McCormick because I know we are going to have a lot of fun on our stomping ground. Let’s keep our short term goals in mind for our regular season play and stay focused. My freshman year, I couldn’t have asked for better seniors to look up to, than Heidi and Kayla. I have tried this year to remember how I looked up to them, and have tried to be that senior for all of you. Keep working next year and in the future. You all have a lot ahead of you to look forward to!
Summer has been an integral part of the girls’ golf success of the past four years at NorthWood. Collectively, she has played three regional qualifying teams, 3 NLC championships, 6 other invitational titles, and she played in the 2013 and 2015 IHSAA State Finals. We have records of 27 and 1 overall in dual matches and 23 and 0 in NLC dual matches during Summer’s four years in the program.
Personally, I want to thank Summer for allowing me the privilege of being her coach. Her constant drive to improve and come up big when we’ve needed it has been a HUGE part of our success these past 4 years. She is without a doubt one of the best players in the history of our program. Even more important than that is who Summer is as a person. She is an outstanding student and a leader at NorthWood.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Alaina Benjamin and Summer Stillson.