Heritage’s Felicia Potenza overcomes health issues and signs with Maryville College Golf | Sports

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Felicia Potenza has had her share of struggles as a senior golfer at Heritage.

“It was very hectic,” Potenza told The Daily Times. “I had a lot of health issues which came into play in my last year which was very sad. It kind of stopped me from playing with the team but my team members made me feel included when I couldn’t be there.

Her fellow climbers weren’t the only ones who made Potenza feel included. Maryville College’s golf program has made it clear they want her despite her health issues, and she signed with the Scots on Friday in the gymnasium at Heritage High School.

“(Maryville College) said I had a great round of golf,” Potenza said. “They’re very excited to work with me and grow me and get back to my best playing abilities, and they’re willing to work with me despite my health issues.”

Maryville also had good reason to recruit Potenza, as she mixed strength and power on the grass to impact Heritage.

“She hits the ball a mile, Heritage golf coach Neal Leatherwood said. “On the tee, she outruns the other girls by 15 to 20 yards. Work on her short game and her putting, she has a very good chance of becoming a good college golfer. It is his strength that will help him a lot.

“Overall, (playing Heritage) was a really fun experience,” added Potenza. “Great opportunity to play with the coaches.”

The prospect of signing Potenza to play golf at the next level didn’t always seem like a sure thing. In fact, it was a process that required waiting and thinking before everything changed recently.

With the opportunity there, it was clear Maryville was the right place for the Blount County golfer who spent her high school career hitting shots through the grass.

“She didn’t know whether or not she wanted to play there after the season,” Leatherwood said. “So that kind of happened last week. She signed up with Maryville College, a good school, so I think it’s a good place for her, especially with academics and a good place to play golf.

In Maryville, Potenza will join rookie Isabella Wright as two former Heritage players on the roster. The Scots are in the final stages of the spring season; they participated in the Bobby Nichols Intercollegiate on March 14 and 15 at Sevierville Golf Club.

“I’m very excited to play with (Maryville College),” Potenza said. “It’s a great team. I love campus. They are very supportive and kind. It’s a great opportunity for me. »

When it comes to the lessons she learned at Heritage that she can take with her to Maryville College, Potenza understands the upside of navigating a rough patch to bright pastures. She exemplifies this, mostly by overcoming her health issues and formalizing her chance to pursue her career at the next level.

“Golf is not a memory game. It’s a very mental game,” Potenza said. “You have to be in a good mental state. Even if you hit a bad shot, you just have to think about the next one, and if you have a bad hole, you have to think about the next one. It doesn’t continue because you can always improve throughout the game.

Follow @TylerWombles on Twitter for more from sportswriter Tyler Wombles.

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