Toomer a natural fit on the golf course
When Alli Toomer entered her freshman year at Eagle Valley High School in 1997, she really had no intention of joining the girls’ golf team. But, lo and behold she did, and ended up going to college on a golf scholarship. Now, she is an award-winning golfer who has just earned one of the most prestigious postgraduate scholarships a college athlete can get. Toomer was recently awarded the NCAA Postgraduate scholarship, an award of $7,500. The award is given to only 29 men and 29 women student-athletes out of all the colleges in America.Toomer, a 2001 graduate of EVHS who grew up on a cattle ranch on Gypsum Creek, had never played golf until EVHS athletic director Dave Scott approached her. “Dave Scott was starting a girls’ golf team, and he talked me into joining,” Toomer said. From there, many people, including Toomer herself, realized that she was a natural. “I just kept playing and began to take it more seriously,” Toomer said. Laughing, she remembers quite well how her very first golf tournament went. “It was just a nine-hole junior varsity tournament, and I went in with no idea what a good score was,” she recalled. Toomer ended up with a 55 on the nine holes. People reassured her that yes, that was a very good score. From there, Toomer made the varsity team and began traveling and playing in every tournament.
Swing of thingsThe years flew by, and soon Toomer was off to college. Toomer began her college career with a golf scholarship to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, a Division I school. However, after deciding that she belonged somewhere else, she transferred to Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Okla.”I loved it,” Toomer said. “I couldn’t have picked a better school.”Toomer began playing at NSU in the spring season, due to her transfer – and fell immediately into the swing of things. “We had a lot of fun. Both teams (men’s and women’s) are really successful. We are a very tight knit group,” said Toomer. A highlight for Toomer was the team travel. “The advantage to our program was that when we traveled, our coach made sure we were able to see the places we went to, not just play at them.”Toomer did more than travel and play golf. She won. She won rounds, tournaments, awards, scholarships and, of course, lots of praise. All this for a girl who didn’t know she could play just a few years earlier. “Alli is simply one of those special kids that coaches only get once in a lifetime,” said NSU Golf Coach Scott Varner. “She is the kind of girl that you hope your daughter will grow up to be like.”
In her four years at NSU, Toomer definitely left her mark not only on people, but in the record books as well. Toomer was a two-time All-American selection and a three-time Academic All-American. She also made it to the All-Lone Star Conference four times, received the team MVP honor three times, was a NCAA All-West Region selection and received the Kenny Ramsdell Scholarship in 2005.One of a kindToomer recently received the NCAA Postgraduate scholarship, an honor that no one else in the history of NSU had ever achieved before. To be exact, no one else from NSU had even been considered before Toomer. To qualify for the NCAA Postgraduate scholarship, a student-athlete must be nominated by his or her school. The student-athlete must have an overall grade-point average of at least 3.2 and must have performed with distinction as a member of a varsity athletic team. The student must also intend to continue education after receiving their bachelor’s degree. Aside from those things, the student-athlete also must have behaved in manner that has given credit to the student-athlete, the institution they represent and intercollegiate athletics.”Winning this postgraduate scholarship is so rare,” Varner said. “And that just says it all right there.””I can’t believe it,” said Toomer, who will be pursuing a master’s in speech language pathology at her alma mater, Northeastern State University.
While Toomer could end up anywhere in the future, she credits the help from the local community she grew up in for giving her a start. Toomer credits support from the Tom Whitehead Golf Foundation and gives a “definite ‘thank you’ to Dave Scott for getting me to play.” “I’d like to thank all those who have given me support. I’d also like to thank my parents, who only missed just a few of my tournaments.” Toomer recalled that her parents, Jim and Kathy Toomer, traveled a lot for her college tournaments and that they “made everything that much better.” Toomer will graduate with her master’s in two years. She then hopes to work with disabled speech clients at a hospital or at a school. But for now, Toomer is just enjoying being a newlywed. Toomer, now Alli Moore, has just returned from a honeymoon with her new husband, Eric Moore. The two met on the golf team at NSU and fell in love on the spot. Like Alli on the golf course, the two were just a natural fit.This story appeared first in the Eagle Valley Enterprise.Vail, Colorado
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