Belville will use Shawnee golf to relieve stress, get her degree

Published 1:31 am Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Ironton Lady Fighting Tigers all-district golfer Sidnea Belville signed a letter-of-intent to play for the Shawnee State Bears. Attending the signing are: seated left to right, mother Susan Belville, Sidnea and father Eddie Belville. (Tim Gearhart Sports Photos/For The Ironton Tribune)

By Jim Walker

Forget the Prozac. The only stress reliever Sidnea Belville needs is golf.

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The Ironton Lady Fighting Tigers standout senior golfer likes to be stress-free and she has discovered golf to be her antidote.

Sidnea Belville

After using golf as a stress reliever through high school, Belville will continue to use it through those stressful college years after signing a letter-of-intent to play for the Shawnee State Golden Bears.

“I’m an academic based person, so I talked to about three or four schools and I wanted to find a school that really balanced athletics and academics to support my way through school,” said Belville.

Belville plans to major in nursing and plans to be a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CNRA) in the future.

The idea of balancing athletics and academics made Belville anxious.

“I didn’t want to be stressed out. That was the main thing. Golf is a very stressful thing and I wanted to be stress-free and that was the biggest thing. The one thing Coach Hop (David Hopkins) talked about to me the most was academics come first.”

Hopkins has followed Belville’s career and was glad to have added her to the team roster.

“I’ve known Sidnea for a while the last two or three years just watching her play when they would come down to the (Portsmouth) Elks (Golf Course) and got to form a friendship with her and watch her progress and become a pretty good player. She’s a great kid,” said Hopkins.

Belville was a first team Southeast All-District selection last season and was first team All-Ohio Valley Conference.

Belville and teammate Emily Weber both shot an 83 and were runners-up as Ironton finished second in the OVC tournament.

As a junior, Belville helped Ironton qualify for the district tournament for the first team and then followed that by helping the team win its first-ever sectional tournament this past season.

“When you have two kids come from the Ironton golf program, all the way back for the last 30 or 40 years and how their program has been, coach (Nathan) Kerns and coach (Cory) McKnight due a wonderful job and not just with the girls’ program but the boys’ program as well, you know they’re coming from a solid background, good families,” said Hopkins.

Belville began playing golf competitively in the sixth grade and then began playing some golf with her father when she reached middle school and then she began to take the game seriously.

“I just fell in love with the sport and the game,” said Belville.

Besides golf, Belville has played soccer, basketball and volleyball and she enjoyed all of the sports.

“I chose to do golf because it’s kind of a stress reliever for me. As tough as it is, it mentally prepares you for life and it can teach you a lot of things. It just calms me the most,” said Belville.

The idea of playing college golf crept into Belville’s mind her freshman year.

“I thought that maybe I can take this to a more competitive level if I find the right people I can,” said Belville.

And when she went out for the golf team she found what she was looking for in coaches Nathan Kerns and Cory McKnight.

“Then I moved to Ironton and found those right people to support me and bring me up through all those times. My coaches are fantastic. Nathan and Cory have done so much for me and I’m beyond grateful.”

With the success Belville had individually and as a team, she said the key to all those accomplishments was her teammates.

“The biggest thing I look at is how our team binds together. We have very good team chemistry. We just like to have fun and support each other through everything,” said Belville.

“Last year we made school history by being the first girls’ team to make the district and then the next we made history again by being the first girls team to win the sectional championship. I think we really brought back the program.”

Belville plans to continue that team chemistry thought process as she plays for Shawnee State.

“I just want to play some golf and have fun with my friends,” said Belville. “That’s what it has always been about for me.”