A full day’s work

Published 10:27 pm Tuesday, October 27, 2009

VIRGINIA BEACH – It can be emotional for any high school athlete when a sports season draws to a close, but it’s probably okay to forgive Nansemond River sophomore Shanice Mason if she feels some relief now that her high school golf season is over after the final round of the VSGA State Girls Golf Open Championships on Tuesday at Kempsville Greens Golf Course.

The last few weeks have been a juggling act of varying talents and not enough hours in the day for Mason.

On the athletic side, Mason was one of the top four golfers throughout the season for the Warriors as they compiled a 5-4 Southeastern District record. In the postseason though, Mason fell short of reaching the Eastern Region Tournament, and therefore, an automatic spot into the VSGA State Girls Golf Open.

Mason had to go through a qualifying tournament to reach the state championship event and played her best round of the year, shooting 76 to finish second in a field of 31 golfers at Kempsville Greens.

Academically, Mason is an honor roll student at Nansemond River and a dance student at the Governor’s School for the Arts in Norfolk.

Students audition to make it into the Governor’s School. A normal school day is closer to two school days in one for Mason.

Mason is dismissed about an hour early each afternoon from NRHS to go take two classes a day, for about three hours each afternoon, at the Governor’s School. It’s grinding mentally and physically.

“Everyone who’s there is pretty serious. They call us ‘young professionals’,” said Mason.

“It can be rough on the body, being dancers we are working out and going through rehearsals basically every day,” said Mason, who’s certainly serious herself. Mason will be going to the National High School Dance Festival in Miami from Mar. 18-21, 2010. All dancers at the Governor’s School auditioned and Mason was one of three students selected for the Festival.

Each night, Mason was returning to Nansemond River around 6 p.m., leaving no time to keep practicing golf even though her season was continuing.

Mason pitched the idea of practicing at Lambert’s Point Golf Course in Norfolk.

“So my parents picked me up (at the Governor’s School) and took me over to Lambert’s Point, which is about five minutes away and I’d get as much practice in as possible before it got too dark,” said Mason.

At Lambert’s Point, Mason found golf pro Michelle Holmes. Holmes helped Mason with her chipping, an area of the game Mason thought was a weakness.

Even with all of that, the day’s work wasn’t over yet. Getting homework done later in the evening still had to be a priority.

“It’s kind of different with dance and golf. I know I want to go to school (college) and play golf, but I keep going with dancing because I’ve been doing it for so long,” said Mason.

“There have been so many tests and everything the last couple weeks, It’s tough just being able to keep it together,” said Mason.