Although her final season in a Sealy uniform was cut short, Lady Tiger senior golfer Maddie Goad already knew there would be more golf in her future and that was made official last Friday, May 15, at a signing ceremony at the Goad household.
Blinn College in Brenham is the next stop on Goad’s tour where she’ll step up to the college ranks after making the state championships as a sophomore in high school and missing a return trip by only four strokes as a junior. This year, Goad won the individual championships at the first two tournaments, the latter of which was a preview of the course the state championship was to be held on.
Instead, the new coronavirus pandemic forced the University Interscholastic League to cancel remaining activities in mid-April but with a spot on next year’s Blinn roster in her back pocket, Goad said it helped the abrupt end to the high school season to not sting quite as bad.
“I understand that a lot of the seniors are sad about that and they felt like they were cheated of their senior year and I sympathize with them, I had that same pain too of knowing that I'm done for my high school career,” Goad said Friday evening after the signing ceremony. “I also really felt sorry for the people who, this was their last chance doing the sport that they love.”
Even though it wasn’t exactly what she had been envisioning since her freshman year, Goad still got to have the signing ceremony that she had been hoping for.
“I always dreamed of being one of the kids that everybody gets out of class to go watch sign,” Goad said. “One of my best friends from freshman year said, ‘Maddie, I just want you to sign for golf. I don't care where you go, I just want to be able to tell people that one of my friends is playing college sports.’ He's friends with Luke (Thielemann) too, I know, so I feel like I made a lot of people proud and a lot of people are excited to be able to brag about that.”
Thielemann, who took third at the state championships in the discus throw last year and broke the school record in the same event this year, is another soon-to-be graduate of Sealy High School and signed to throw for the Sam Houston State Bearkats next year at the joint ceremony.
Looking back on some of the relationships she cherished the most, Goad said she’s made friends from regional tournaments that she still talks to today and who have been able to begin showing her the ropes of what life is like at the next level.
“I met a lot of people, especially during my summer tournaments,” Goad said. “I had a friend that went up to Seminole State in Oklahoma, she was from League City, and she's shown me a lot (about) this is what college golf is going to be like.”
For Goad, Brenham is just about an hour’s drive from Sealy and that was part of the reasoning why she wanted to stay closer to home, also citing a medical condition that made it simpler for her to stay in Texas as opposed to following one of the out-of-state offers she said she received.
“I didn't want to go out of state and have to redo all those medical papers so I decided I'm going to do two years at Blinn and maybe see where that leads me,” Goad said. “I think the deciding factor was not wanting to get too far away from my friends and family.”
Part of her family is the consistency that Goad credited to some of her success over her career. Maddie’s father, Lonnie Goad, is currently Sealy’s head girls’ golf coach but previously coached football.
Coach Goad was Sealy’s defensive coordinator in 2007, took the head football coach/athletic director job at Bloomington for a year and returned in 2009. Goad has been coaching golf in Sealy since 2014 and said he plans to continue coaching even though his daughter won’t take up a roster spot.
“The biggest thing is that a lot of people go through lots of coaches,” Maddie said of one of her takeaways from her high school career. “The football team had a big transition from their freshman to their sophomore year with coaches, but I've had the same coaches nearly my entire life. I've been with Brett Barkley for seven to eight years and then my dad, I've been with him the past 18; I've had consistent coaching.”