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1985 Belton Girls Golf: A Tiger Team to remember

 

By Tony Adams

 

Sports Editor

 

 Belton’s Wall of Fame is loaded with individuals with amazing athleticism and feats that are line the annals of Belton’s rich sports history.

 

The decade of the 1980’s was a special time for the Belton High School Golf program. Coached by Ken Taylor, the boys’ and girls’ teams set marks that had stood for two decades before the resurgence of the golf program on both sides under current boys coach Jimmy Hellums and former Belton High golfer and current girls coach Lauren Sanders.

 

The 1985 Belton High School Girls’ Golf Team was the first female team to win a team title in school history. The first of two champions in golf in the decade, they laid the groundwork for great teams to come, including the 1988 championship team.

 

Taylor’s teams, both on the girls and boys sides, were a mainstay in Class 4A during the 1980’s in Belton. The Lady Tigers won two Class 4A Championships, finished second in the state twice (1987 and 1989 by a combined nine strokes) and third in the state twice (1983 and 1984), while the boys finished third in the state in 1983 and sixth in 1985. Taylor also coached Neil Hickerson in his 1982 individual Class 4A State Championship. 

 

The team of senior Susan Teas (Blaisdell), junior Amy Smith (Cunningham), sophomores Pam Bockhold (Harrison) and Shelley Roberts (Cheatham) and freshman Kelly Klaus (Morrison) stunned teams all over Texas with their unbelievable team chemistry and solid golf.

 

Teas, Smith, Bockhold and Roberts were instrumental on the course, which helped Klaus overcome her nerves as being the youngest member of the squad. The freshman member of the squad really learned her leadership from the four upper-class members.

 

“The girls helped me out so much,” said Klaus. “It was hard being a freshman on the squad because we had such great players between the junior varsity and varsity. Susan, Amy, Pam and Shelley were so great to me and we all learned from one another.”

 

The 1985 team dominated the opposition from start to finish on the tournament schedule. The pre-district schedule included impressive wins in Austin, Bryan, Lampasas, San Saba, Brenham, Waco and at the Belton Invitational. All of the tournaments featured several Class 5A teams.

 

The 1985 team was so dominant that they won the district golf meet by default, because no other team entered. Teas finished as a medalist with an 89-91=180, with Klaus finishing second with an 89-98=187, Bockhold finishing third with a 97-94=191 and Smith finishing fourth 90-104=194.

 

The Belton junior varsity squad, consisting of Karen Teas, Julie Heartfield, Peggy Groves, CeCe Fisher and Sally Haugh, was a formidable group of golfers as well, finishing second in the Belton Invitational and second in district.

 

“We didn’t lose a single tournament my freshman year,” said Klaus. “I always tried to play my very best.”

 

The  Region I-4A Tournament playoffs in Brownwood stood out in Klaus’ mind

 

“We had to have a playoff and it was my first experience with a playoff,” said Klaus. “It was we five girls against Andrews’ five. I was wondering what we were doing. So we all played this hole and they took all five scores. I just remembered that being nerve-racking because we had won every tournament so easily that year.”

 

The 1985 Class 4A Championship was played at Morris Williams Golf Course in Austin. The venue has been very good to Belton golf over the years, with Hickerson (1982) and Andrew Paysse (2013) winning individual titles there.

 

“I remember the first hole at state because they announced your name on the tee box, which added to the pressure,” said Klaus. “At the same time it was cool, but they hardly ever got my name right. So it was fun. I remember how awesome and surreal the feeling was. I am a freshman and playing on this stage.”

 

On May 10, 1985, the Belton Girls’ Golf Team brought Belton home it’s first championship since the 1958 Boys Basketball Team, besting the Class 4A State field with a 373-369=742 score, 18 shots better than Sulphur Springs. Teas was the top Tiger individual scorer, shooting an 82-68=168, fourth best overall in the state.

 

The Belton girls’ success of 1985 paved the way for future golfers, such as Shelley Yarnell-Doyle, Jean Hamrick-Riemenschneider and Stephanie Guillen to team up with Klaus-Morrison and Fisher-Fort for a second Class 4A title in 1988.

 

Teas-Blaisdell graduated from Belton in 1985. She is married, has three children and lives in McGregor.

 

Smith-Cunningham graduated from Belton in 1986. She is married, has two children and lives in Austin. She has degrees from Texas Christian University and the University of Cincinnati. She teaches geology at Austin Community College.

 

Bockhold-Harrison graduated from Belton in 1987 lives here with her husband and two children. She is a graduate of Texas A&M and the University of Houston College of Optometry. She is an optometrist in Temple.

 

Roberts-Cheatham also graduated from Belton in 1987. She lives in Salado with her husband and two children.

 

Klaus-Morrison graduated from Belton in 1988. She is married with a son and lives in Temple. She is a part-time pharmacy technician and full-time business owner with her husband. She still remains the first and only Belton athlete, male or female, to play on two state championship teams.

Taylor left Belton in 1989 with his wife to become counselors in Denver City before retiring in 2004 and moving to Lubbock.