05/08/06 — Lindsey Snyder wraps up stellar career at MOC

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Lindsey Snyder wraps up stellar career at MOC

By MOC Sports Information
Published in Sports on May 8, 2006 2:19 PM

If you're going to start a college athletics program with just one student-athlete, Lindsey Snyder would be a good place to start.

The Mount Olive College women's golf program completed its fourth year of existence and Lindsey Snyder finished her collegiate playing career as the Trojans' first-ever four-year women's golfer. Having competed in women's golf at Mount Olive for four years is one of numerous "first-evers" for Snyder.

A graduate of Eastern Wayne High School, Snyder became Mount Olive's first-ever All-Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference women's golf selection when she was named to the first team in her sophomore year. She went on to become the Trojans' first-ever two-time and three-time All-CVAC selection.

She is the first Trojan women's golfer to be named to the CVAC All-Tournament Team and is the first two-time All-Tournament honoree. Snyder capped her senior season by being named to the All-CVAC First Team and the All-Tournament Team.

In her junior year, she became the first Trojan to win a women's golf event, capturing individual honors at the 2005 St. Andrews Spring Invitational.

But for all of her individual accolades, she is most proud of what the team accomplished this season as the Trojans finished third in the 2006 CVAC Women's Golf Championship. Mount Olive finished only four shots out of second place in the six-team tournament. The Trojans also earned a second-place finish at the St. Andrews Spring Invitational this season.

"I think we made a good statement as a team this year," said Snyder.

Just making a statement as a team was a statement in itself as 2005-06 was the first year Mount Olive had enough players to compete as a team in the CVAC Championship and throughout the entire year.

A minimum of four players is required to compete in the team standings in a tournament. The Trojans had three women's golfers in each of the previous two years. But during Snyder's freshman year, she usually was the only competitor wearing Mount Olive colors.

Snyder says her experience during her freshman year helps give even more meaning to what the team accomplished this year.

"I'm glad I had the experience competing as an individual because it helps me appreciate what it means to be part of a team and to have the support of the other girls," said Snyder. "The toughest part about playing as an individual is that you feel like you don't belong. If there's a dinner at the tournament, it's kind of awkward asking other teams if you can sit with them."

Statistically, Snyder's senior year was her best, capturing five top 10 finishes in eight tournaments. Snyder credits this year's success to an attitude change on the course.

"I finally figured out how to play like I practice," said Snyder. "It took me a while to get myself to a comfort level where I can just play and not worry about each shot."

In the second round of this year's CVAC Championship, Snyder tied a school record with a 77. The next day, she established a new record with a 75 in her final collegiate round of golf.

"The way she ended her career couldn't be more fitting," said head coach Chip Spiron, who took over the program during Snyder's sophomore year. "Lindsey is the foundation of the Mount Olive women's golf program. Any program that can start with someone like Lindsey definitely makes the coach's job easier."

Snyder admits it hadn't sunk in what she's accomplished until she was announced as a Female Athlete of the Year finalist at this year's Mount Olive College Athletics Awards Banquet.

"When the list of my accomplishments was being read off and everyone was looking at me, I felt kind of embarrassed," said Snyder. "It's nice to know I'll always be a part of Mount Olive golf, but I don't feel I'm any more deserving than any other current or future players."

Snyder's collegiate success has not been limited to the golf course. A two-time Mount Olive Female Scholar Athlete of the Year winner, she was a finalist for this year's CVAC Murphy Osborne Award, which recognizes excellence in athletics, academics and community service.

She is also a two-time CVAC All-Academic honoree with a cumulative grade point average of 3.815 in business administration. She achieved at least a 3.60 GPA every semester, including three semesters with a perfect 4.0.

At Saturday's commencement ceremonies, Snyder was named the recipient of the Thomas R. Morris Award for Academic Excellence.

But graduation won't be the only time this summer that Snyder will walk the aisle. On Aug. 5, she will get married to Jonathan McClellan, a Mount Olive baseball student-athlete who will also graduate Saturday.

The couple will move to Charlottesville, Va., where Snyder is originally from. She plans to get her real estate license and eventually work on her master's degree. McClellan intends to teach high school English.

While she's excited for her own future, she is also excited for the future of Mount Olive women's golf.

"I feel like the girls are in good hands and they're going to be a strong team next year," said Snyder. "I see big things for the Trojan women's golf team next year and years to come."