“Hope springs eternal…” the phrase of Alexander Pope seems fitting when taking a close look at the approach shot of Hope Berry, the 17-year old who earned a back-to-back Class 5A state golf appearance with her golf skills enhanced by a positive outlook.
“Character is evidenced by someone who knows how to pull from others strengths to achieve a common goal,” said Berry. “Just like in sports and in life, we cannot be a team or a community if we only focus on the negatives of each other. When we pull from each other’s strengths we make ourselves stronger.”
The 5-11 senior to be played her first golf tournament at the age of 10 and thrives on her ability to strike the golf ball with force.
“I have a serious size advantage over the majority of my opponents that allows me to hit it a lot farther,” replied Berry. “My driver is my favorite club because I can hit the ball in one shot that takes most people two swings.”
Adding to her confidence on the course is the influence and challenges of her high school coach, Stan King.
“He always pushes me to be not only a better golfer but a better person,” said Berry in appreciation. Coach King has permanently impacted my life for the better.”
Another source of support is the result of her older brother, Blake who earned state tournament entries including the 2014 Class 5A state championship plus All-State honors while in high school at Tahlequah.
“Blake has taught me most if not all of what I know about golf today. He’s a great motivator and a coach,” Hope replied. “Because he’s left-handed, it’s like looking in a mirror when I watch his swing and then try to copy it.”
In eight spring outings, Berry medaled in three events including a third place finish at the Metro Lakes Conference tournament to earn All-Conference honors before qualifying for the Class 5A state tournament. The event’s cancellation last year was a driving force for Berry to earn her second appearance.
“Missing out my sophomore year definitely pushed me to get to state again,” Berry replied. “It was nice to have Katie Pursley, who is just a freshman, also represent our Lady Tigers golf team at state.”
Off the course, Berry continues her top level efforts by posting a 3.8 GPA while taking an active involvement by showing pigs as part of the Tahlequah FFA chapter.
Heeding the advice of her mother, Hope Berry maintains a positive outlook and desire to be her best every day.
“Mom told me that I should live in the moment and stop dwelling about the past, you have no control over your past so focus on making your future better,” Hope said with a voice of passion. “I’ve committed to that approach in everything I do. No matter how many times you fall, stand up and stand a little bit taller each day. I want to be an advocate for not giving up on yourself, your peers, and your teachers.”
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