Weber swings her way into college golf game at SSU

Published 1:34 am Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Ironton Lady Fighting Tigers all-district golfer Emily Weber signed a letter-of-intent to play for the Shawnee State Bears. Attending the signing are: seated left to right, mother Carissa Weber, Emily, and father T.J. Weber; standing is brother Mason Weber. (Tim Gearhart Sports Photos/For The Ironton Tribune)

By Jim Walker

When it comes to Emily Weber, you can be sure that she’ll always go down swinging.

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A golf club or bat, that is.

As a softball player and a golfer, the Ironton Lady Fighting Tigers’ senior has always been involved in a sport that has her swinging some type of blunt instrument.

And swinging one club has helped her swing the other.

Emily Weber

With the help of swinging a softball bat, Weber is swinging her way onto the college golf scene after signing a letter-of-intent to play for the Shawnee State Bears.

“I started golfing my junior year. I’ve played softball my whole life, so I’ve always been swinging which helped a lot,” said Weber. “I just started golfing and my coaches have helped me a lot to be where I am today.”

With a nudge from her golf coaches Nathan Kerns and Cory McKnight and the fact her father T.J. Weber plays all messed together and sparked her interest to play the sport.

“My dad plays and one of my coaches just kind of asked me about it because they needed more girls. And so, he talked to my mom (Carissa) because they’re friends and I decided to go out and try and it worked out.”

Weber said her father has helped her out some with learning the game.

“We’ve gone on trips and we’ve gone to Florida a couple of times and played the Disney courses which is fun. And we’ve gone out a couple of times and played,” she said.

Softball has always been the sport for Weber but she holds them both in high regard.

“I love both but they are both so different,” Weber said.

“Golf is more relaxing and it’s less of a team sport, but it’s more individually going out there. You get to meet a lot of new people playing and I like it in that way. But I like the competitiveness of softball, too.”

Weber said one other school had contacted her but she had already decided to play at Shawnee State because it offered her the best chance to reach her potential.

“I just want to get better. I’ve just started so there’s a lot ahead for me,” Weber said. “I want to do better because I have a lot to accomplish.”

Weber was a second team Southeast All-District selection last season and was first team All-Ohio Valley Conference. Weber and teammate Sidnea Belville both shot an 83 and were runners-up as Ironton finished second in the OVC tournament.

As a junior, Weber 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.

Shawnee State head coach David Hopkins not only signed Weber but her teammate Sidnea Belville, In fact, he said it was recruiting Belville that led him to finding a gold mine with Weber.

“I got to know Emily by following (Ironton teammate) Sidnea around. I know she’s a really good softball player and she’s taken her athletic ability over softball to golf. I just threw the bone out to her if she would be interested in playing a little golf and she said yes. I think her friendship with Sidnea helped us get her. Hopefully she develops as much as she did in the past two years,” said Hopkins.

Weber isn’t very big but that hasn’t been a problem for her. In fact, her stature has created some of her favorite moments playing golf.

“Every golf match we would have, I would step up to hit my first tee shot and everybody would be like ‘Whoa! How does this girl hit it so far? She’s so small.’ And it’s funny because I’m hitting it farther than some of the bigger girls. The best thing about my golf game is my drive whenever I play.”

But when it comes to the best things in golf, Weber said that the team chemistry is what she remembers the most.

“I think it’s just a lot of fun. Our team has always been a close team and we have a lot of fun playing together,” said Weber.

“The thing I like is when we’re in a tournament and we know we’re doing good and the coach tells us we’re doing really good and we’re really feeling it, it’s really fun to get out there and play and be excited about it.”

Hopkins is excited to have Weber and Belville join the Shawnee State program.

“We just look for them to add to our women’s program. It’s a great fit. They’re 35 minutes from campus. Holly Hart is taking over our women’s program and they’re going to get better through the things she’s doing with our weight program and the dedication she’s shown since taking over our program,” said Hopkins.

Weber is undecided on a major.

“I don’t want to pick something that I regret,” said Weber.