It was around this time last year that Newfield High School global studies teacher and varsity golf coach Don Matlock went through his spiel from classroom to classroom. He was actively encouraging students to join the team and tried to gauge interest before tryouts began.

In one classroom he visited, then-freshman Alexa Singh raised her hand. That led to Singh becoming only the third girl to join the varsity golf team at Newfield High School in Matlock’s 16 years of coaching.

“I grew up watching golf,” said Singh, 15. “My dad [Mark] loved golf and got me into it. He took me to the range almost every weekend. When the time came that I could join the sport, I decided that I should.”

Now in her second year on the team, Alexa and her 12 teammates were announced one by one at Newfield’s pep rally on Oct. 14 to an excited crowd of students at the school’s football field.

Many of the boys were introduced with wacky nicknames they selected beforehand, while Singh just covered her face and laughed.

“[My teammates are] very polite toward me and very nice, and don’t feel like they have to be different around me,” she said. “They treat me like a friend.”

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On the course, Matlock says, Alexa has learned quickly.

“The more she continues to work, the better it’s going to get,” Matlock said.

The golfer she admires the most is Rory McIlroy, the world’s No. 3 men’s player and a four-time winner of golf’s major championships. She says when she and her father aren’t palling around on the driving range, they follow every one of McIlroy’s swings and puts.

In addition, her free time is filled with robotics club and foreign language club meetings. Singh has been on high honor roll since sixth grade and received an award last year for maintaining her grade-point average as a varsity athlete.

“[Golf is] a sport that you need to focus with,” she said. “It’s so unlike the other sports because it requires such an amount of focus. And once you get in the swing of things -- no pun intended -- and get into the motion and learn more about your comfort with the sport, it’s a cool thing to see [yourself] progress.”

Her coach can attest to that.

“She’s a very hard worker, very dedicated, and doesn’t ask questions,” Matlock said. “What I mean is she doesn’t really question your guidance; she listens to what you have to say, and she goes out and she does it.”

Matlock will continue his classroom rounds in hopes of recruiting more students to the golf team. Although Singh is fine continuing to just have male teammates, she likes the idea of having more girls participate.

Says Singh, “The more, the merrier!”